A few days ago, a loud grinding brought me out to the porch. The forester had been working beyond the far southwest corner of our property but on this morning, his bulldozer chugged along the stone wall that bounds our property. Rather than keeping his distance, he was rambling right by my yard, and heading deep into the woods along the paths Tasha and I love.
The forester is cutting close to home now.
These are not my woods, I tell myself. Not my lumber, nor my paths, nor my stream. Tasha and I have been blessed to have nearby for our pleasure but none of it belongs to us.
When I’m not in the throes of anxiety over losing what isn’t mine, I admire how he does his work. He wields a huge chainsaw, cutting the huge trees very close to the ground. It only takes two cuts to bring them crashing down. He cuts off the branches, then wraps a chain around the massive log that’s left. He then used the bulldozer to drag these logs back to his processing site.
It’s an amazing sight as the bulldozer goes by, dragging its log. Like a freight train that seems to go on forever, some of these logs do the same—going on and on and on, a local testament to God’s majesty.
Between the heavy equipment and the massive logs, the beaten path has been plowed under. As my friend works deeper into these woods, more of the paths that Tasha and I have trod into submission will become bulldozed and muddied.
I worry about this freshly-turned ground because I know the open soil is an invitation to bramble. I’ve seen this happen in other parts of the woods that have been forested, and it’s fearsome. I can’t help but think of the parable of the sower in Mark 4—indeed, open land is an invitation to weeds, and the fiercest of weeds in our parts is the thicket. I’d love to chase behind the forester’s bulldozer and drop grass seed in his wake to prevent anything else from coming up.
Such an effort would be futile—too much seed to sow, and only one me.
So I’ll watch the paths being turned into raw soil, and pray that Tasha and I can go out when the forester is done in a couple of months and beat that raw soil into submission.
The spiritual analogy of all this just cuts too close to home to consider further.