Here’s a tale for you which is still the source of merriment in our family today.
When our younger daughter was probably around two and a half she and I were out walking and, of course, chatting together. I can’t recall what prompted her question by I guess she has recently been to a birthday party and become aware of it’s significance because she asked me when it would be her birthday. At that time it was around six months hence but she was too young to understand that concept so my reply was that it would not be for quite a while yet. I should not have been surprised but it became a regular question to the point where I was becoming just a little exasperated. When the question came yet again I racked my brains for a reply which would be more satisfactory, her birthday is in November. The solution I came up with was to tell her that she would know when it was getting quite near because the leaves would fall off the trees. I also added now she knew that she would not need to ask again now. Dear readers, it worked! What’s more, every year since the falling leaves also prompt a reminder from either me or her, always with a laugh.
Signs with meanings. I guess it would be possible to write full length essay on the subject but I think I’ll opt out of that for everyone’s sake. However it did make me wonder if other families have their own similar stories to tell, Christmas is an obvious one and gardening too. Good gardeners are observant, of the weather, the condition of their plants- have they got black fly for instance, do they need watering, the lawn mowing. The list is endless. These observations are extremely important especially if a good harvest is to be had. We also have roadside signposts for a good reason.
The Bible speaks in many places about signs and their meanings and Jesus often used illustrations which were based on gardening. Colin Urquhart wrote a book entitled My Father the Gardener based on the way in which God worked. How well do we observe God’s commands and watch for the things that are spoken of. After all, we are told of the way in which some ladies ran out of oil for their lamps because they were not sufficiently prepared, the reason given was that they had not known what time the bridegroom would arrive.
I’ll sign off by saying that the leaves are now off the trees, in fact today is my daughter’s birthday. Oh, and whatever you do, keep watch and don’t run out of oil.