Being Five

I picked up a small stone and tossed it into the center of the smooth surfaced pond. I began to understand. I waited until all the little ripples had dissipated, the frogs had quit but began to croak again. The surface was once again as still as the morning air. Once again I could see the fluffy white clouds moving in the waters reflection. I picked up a fist sized rock and vaulted it high to land in the center of the pond creating a big splash and bigger waves that eventually swayed the cattails, and small willows on the sides of the pond. Now I understood. I was five.

Maybe mom helped my understanding when she disciplined me for sassing her. Maybe my little brother helped by doing what I did and was disciplined, then I was disciplined again for being his example while mom cried. Maybe the time my little brother killed a chicken with a board; not on purpose but in trying to scare the chickens one got in the way. It was quite small but that was supper. The weight of the board was enough to kill even if it was the chickens fault for getting in the way. I threw another rock in the water, each time knowing and feeling the ripple effect. One thing changes everything. One sin and I can’t seem to quit. One funny thing and everything is funny. A pebble quiets frogs. Think what a monster could do. I’m hungry – I must go home.

60 years later I watched in horror as some watched in glee, as a man signed many many documents changing hundreds, then thousands, then millions of lives. Now world economies and massive gains and losses on many fronts are in the waves. The weight of a signature in the name of ideology has been around for centuries. I watched a squirrel bury an acorn; possibly food for later or a giant oak tree. Cause and effect effect effect effect effect effect …..only God knows. Only God can interject. Only God can keep track of it all. Only God’s signature has more weight. Meanwhile, we are at the edge of times pond waiting.

It’s true from Adam and Eve if you can believe what God said; “eat of this fruit and you will die.” You meaning you and everyone following. You; meaning plants, animals, bugs and all of nature. You; meaning thistles, killing to eat, killing each other (by the first generation). You; meaning decay of the mind, will and emotions inside as well as the exterior. You; wait until what’s bad is good, good is bad, the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent. You; declaring rocks are the problem, waves do not exist, you do not matter except to exist as matter. Now we have cyberspace rocks; “Oh Lord Save Us”.

Turns out He did save us; if we can believe God.

So here I sit with my thoughts. How much weight can a signature have? How much weight does God have when he says He signed for us? It’s the gospel truth. He signed with all his lifes blood and that’s as serious as one can get. He promised “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49;16). He delivered. Doubting Thomas like many of us would say “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20:25).

(26) A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (27) Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (28) Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (29)Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

God’s signature is everywhere if you believe. God’s signature is nowhere if you don’t. Oh that we could all be five and understand.

When a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? I say, ask the beaver, his signature is all over it.

These were my thoughts as I Wandered around on foot to the lake and through the woods with a camera a couple days ago after almost 5 inches of rain melting massive amounts of snow….The signature of God is everywhere in nature. I am glad he has inscribed my name on his hands. I believe he honors his word. I understand effect effect…. Maybe it’s because I am walking the same exact land and stand in the same exact places as when I understood. Please understand, because sometimes I am five.

Click to enlarge and for slideshow. 4 of these pictures were taken earlier this spring of the beavers.

Gary

42 thoughts on “Being Five

  1. “God’s signature is everywhere if you believe. God’s signature is nowhere if you don’t.”

    This is really good, Gary. Thanks. God’s Word says we will be without excuse on that day. God is only anonymous to those who refuse to see, never take the time to see, or consider that what they don’t see doesn’t mean it’s not there. It is most interesting that God signs His work.

    I often thought it quite strange that some “artist” makes a painting of some outdoor scene that looks like the already signatured original quite a bit or maybe kinda sorta. And then puts his John Hancock down there at the bottom. And then it sells for multiple thousands. And it’s just one little picture, a rough representation of nature thereof with the added benefit of someone’s distinct brushwork and color selection. And it may be quite old and may show signs of age but only gains in value. And the people who appreciate this “art” the most apparently have no appreciation for the original Artist who also signed His Name but apparently anonymously or with invisible ink, and belief in the Creator is apparently not part of the equation. I would rather have the real thing, the three dimensional thing that affects all the senses. And I would much rather have the Signatory.

    Awesome pictures. Thanks again for sharing. Nature finally thawing out. And full circle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks RJ, you added to the conversation with a keen insight on art. I so agree.
      Nature took a day off from thawing now and froze again. Some places set new low records from the 1800’s for cold on the day but tomorrow it will reach 40 maybe. A crazy spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ted, I am halting between two opinions (I know, not good). One: a devotional book or two: a book for small groups, outreach groups geared to stimulate discussion and further study.
      I am trying to get the cost down if I use pictures which are a strength unless I go with an online book to download.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robert. Quite true. I was quite sure it wasn’t just me. All the more reason to treat creation as respecting our creator God and not carve our own signature into nature. He has given us a lot.

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  2. I loved this post Gary and the pictures. This statement of yours caught my eye: “Only God can keep track of it all. Only God’s signature has more weight. Meanwhile, we are at the edge of times pond waiting.” I also noted the statement about how a pebble can quiet the frogs. Sometimes I feel like one of those frogs. Making noise and only turning silent when something happens that I can not comprehend. One would think that I would be more quiet because there is an awful lot that I do not comprehend. But . . . sometimes I get a glimpse of the pond and I like you, acknowledge my own sorry limitations and the wonder of He who created the pond. And you’re right about being five again, because really, that’s what we all are, only some of us within humanity just don’t know it. Next time you go to throw pebbles and rocks, let me know because I would love to stand there with you. Blessings brother!

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    1. So glad you connected Bruce. When I was writing I thought, what child has not thrown a pebble into the water, then another. What person at the downhill side of life has not wanted to be five and do it again? What thinking person could imagine a world where cause has no effect? Order without a God behind it? yet here we are. I would like nothing better than to call my friend Bruce to meet on the rockpile by the pond.

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    2. Life’s emergencies got in the way of answering and reviving my answer Bruce, now I am more ready to be five at the rockpile…emergency resolved for a short time. In the evening I may need a campfire to round out the day.

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  3. AWESOME. I remember kindergarten and being five. The beginning of a young life that even then was coming short of God’s glory. I think I was only naughty once during that first year of memory. Ha. Mom is not here to correct me! Twenty-eight years it took to fully understand the salvation of Jesus Christ and set my life in obedience to Him.
    Thanks, Gary, and blessings to you and your family today!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My thoughts exactly Mary. Your mom might have a box of memories with infractions stuffed in small hiding places. Now that my mom is gone I get a small joy knowing exactly what she might say upon reading this (you went to the pond?? ya mom and we went swimming a lot and put our clean dry clothes back on to go home).

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  4. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children…” Matthew 18:3

    Child-like faith is the result of conversion… By faith, we grow into the child who sees and understands…

    The contradiction of life: growing old in the natural while growing young in spirit.

    Blessings
    BT

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    1. So true Brian. The fun part of growing young as one grows old is the depth of fascination and wonder of seeing further and knowing truth deeply. I know you belong to the fellowship of rock tossers as well.

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  5. Truly fascinating how you manage to put us readers in the 5-year-old stage with your words…
    I am happy that you are so firmly rooted in HIM and I thank HIM for your life, for keeping you, comforting you, bringing you healing and letting you touch others via your writings in so many different ways…
    For me, every post of yours is literally truly at least („worth“) 10 posts.
    This depth and quality of revelation & insight – I like to come back, read them again and every time, I have a completely different interpretation and outcome.
    A bit like when reading the bible – always worth reading it again 👍🏻🤩

    And it will definitely bless so many if you ever decide to put a book together.
    I will buy it for sure, regardless which medium you decide to use or which content will make it to the final pages – me, I will love it!!!

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  6. Great thoughts and photos, Gary! I think we tend to see what we are looking for by the time we are adults. Our world-view filters are pretty effective. I’m so glad that the Lord’s signature rules and that He has the final word. What a comfort, especially in turbulent and trying times. Those little snow birds of yours look to be dark-eyed juncos. We have them here and I always like to see them. Love the beaver photos, too. They are industrious little fellows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Craig. Yes, us adults can get quite locked in our thinking and seeing for sure. Thanks for the tip on what those birds are. they just pass through by the hundreds at a time every spring. Those beavers get really big (50-70 pounds here) The only thing thing that can take them down is the wolf. I have seen where the pack tore a big beaver house apart and got a bunch of beaver (the tell-tale signs make people queasy). The beaver seem to let me get closer and closer in the daylight. they really get busy after dark.

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  7. Wow! Awesome post! Yes, God’s signature is everywhere. When we come to see that, life becomes an incredible journey. We realize the fullness of God’s plan for creation; we understand that each of us has a part to play in that plan. Our lives and actions matter in the scheme of things. When we stay open to the signs of His ongoing and daily handiwork, miracles unfold in our midst, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here…:) I like that line about the beaver…busy little critters that they are!

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    1. Thank you Linda. You truly get the place nature has in our lives.
      I have spent most of my life on the woods and lakes wilderness edge with many ventures and adventures to it’s interior. My wife knows that I would think I was next to heaven building a log cabin in the wilderness and never come out.
      However, the marvels are too big and intricate for “mother nature” to come up with all by herself. Nature is phenomenal. There is so much to learn about life there, but, that’s because it mimics what God tells us about himself. I talk a lot with “Nature Lovers” as everyone is on some level. The biggest difference is that God is not in nature nor bound there yet will meet us there. When a tree falls in the forest it will kill you if you are in the way. When you tip the canoe you had better have a life jacket on. Mother nature does not care if we live or die…she will use the dirt we are made of when we are gone. It’s set up that way. God cares and we best know him. I am not hugging God when I hug a tree. I am thanking him for the tree though.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes! We must thank God for the trees! As you say, we must respect nature. I have been out in boats in some terrible weather, and I know what can happen at sea. We have had huge trees come down in our back woods, and I thank God that they fell where they did. God is always in our midst, wherever we may be, wilderness or stormy sea. When we know Him, we know that all things, including nature, are under His control.

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  8. Thank you Gary for putting this in words and painting a picture that gives understanding of the chaos signatures are creating. I think what is understood at five sets the stage for understanding as an adult, especially when we have the Lord who is the source of wisdom and understanding to help us comprehend. Your words “God’s signature is everywhere if you believe. God’s signature is nowhere if you don’t” brought to mind a portion of an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem my daughter studied last year. “Earth’s crammed with heaven/ And every common bush afire with God/ But only he who sees, takes off his shoes-/ the rest sit round and pluck blackberries/And daub their natural face unaware.”

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    1. I am glad somethings connected Ann that may stimulate conversation and depth beyond the post. We do need an army of rock tossers (Which you are quite a part of) affecting our culture representing the gospel and the effects of lives totally committed to loving rather than canceling others. This kind only comes God as we are not enough.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Gary. God’s signature is everywhere. We especially see it in nature. We see glimpses of his glory and what was leftover from the perfect garden – before sin entered in – and all the beauty is a foretaste of what awaits us who believe. In this crazy world we live in, it’s always good to remember that he will have the final word and his signature is all that matters. That gives me peace.

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  10. I completely agree, Gary. God’s signature is everywhere. Unfortunately, it takes some of us longer than others to recognize it. By the way, I love your photos almost as much as your insights. Blessings, A.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna. Being we live in the woods it’s something to share as complimentary (the pictures). It is amazing to see the blindness of a whole culture missing those signatures everywhere.

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  11. Such a thought-provoking post, Gary! I’ve probably mentioned it before but in 1983 I began a journal called “God Is Faithful,” to record events in our family when God has provided for us, protected us, or guided us. The notebook now includes more than 4000 entries! In 2017 I began “A Celebration of Small Things,” to record small moments for which I’m grateful. The contents of these journals prove your point: God’s signature is everywhere!

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