Have Life…Abundantly

I love walking through Herrick Lake Forest Perserve. My mother and I have walked there several times a week ever since the pandemic of COVID-19 began. We are refreshed by the beauty of the trees and the path beckoning us forward. We are restored by the oxygen coming to our faces which can be mask free in the good outdoors.

Yesterday I asked the Morton Arboretum, another place of great beauty, why it is that they insist on timed-entry passes when even public parks have been open for weeks. Well, I didn’t exactly I ask. I suggested that they eliminate their timed-entry passes (which must be reserved daily) on Instagram, and I got this reply from some random Instagrammer:

I loved the timed-entry. Seriously, everyone should be doing that! The virus is NOT under control. You must get your news from Fox.

I have been laughing at the last line ever since I read it. Please, take offense at my suggestion and accuse me of a certain political persuasion when all I want to do is walk amongst the trees.

People are in such great distress emotionally, and I don’t mean to minimize their pain. I know someone very dear to me who is just coming through a tremendous battle with depression that kept him down for several weeks. But, we don’t have to accept the enemy’s darkness! Remember what Jesus said:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -John 10:10 (ESV)

Let us choose an abundant life filled with hope rather than fear. Or, judgement. Or, discouragement. And might I suggest taking a walk in the forest, as well?

20 thoughts on “Have Life…Abundantly”

    1. Love walking with YOU! It has been a highlight of the pandemic, to be out snow, rain or shine…having our lovely talks that go by in an instant even though we walk for hours.

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    1. I think it helps my spirit more than my body. The Japanese have Forest Bathing for a reason, I think, as it is so restorative to one’s well-being as you say.

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    1. I’m glad you walk, too. How lovely to have access to a botanical garden! That is just what I was lamenting with the Arboretum’s (ridiculous) restrictions.

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  1. Walking outside has been such a blessing to me. And I never thought I’d say that. I have avoided sweating much for almost all my life, but I’ve decided that sweating isn’t so bad. Early mornings are lovely and peaceful and cool-ish (not really, but I can dream – ha!). Your picture is beautiful. Enjoy your walks with your mother. Take care!

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    1. You make me laugh, in sympathy, Kay! I, too, have avoided sweat (and competitive sports) for much of my life. I like cycling, and swimming, and canoeing, but the ability to walk with my mother has been a glorious respite from confinement…which normally does not bother me, either. Quiet time to read? Where you actually can’t go out? It’s been rather a dream. Stay well, reading friend.

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  2. I’ve always been an outdoors type of man and couldn’t imagine being cooped up inside away from the beach and the mangrove and palmetto woodlands near my home! I love this post for its words of encouragement. Me and my wife were just talking about how offended and angry and disproportionate the response is from those that wish to lock the country down while at the same time instigating chaos and confusion. I tend to react to this invasion of my personal rights and responsibility with more hostility than my smart wife. She gently reminded me that we shouldn’t be surprised when those without Christ act like they are without Christ and therefore without hope. I forget that sometimes. Have a great week!

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    1. What a smart wife you have! I tend to exhort people, and can lean toward criticism rather than compassion; something I’m working hard on! For example, on the way to church we drive by both WalMart and Costco, neither of which have a free parking spot. But, the Lutheran Church right before them is locked down tight. I totally respect that some people don’t wish to go to church…but what about those who do? Can’t they have the freedom to go? What a crazy world…I am glad you have your beach and palmetto groves to escape in. There is something so soothing to me about the waves of the ocean.

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  3. I’ve been walking more than ever this year. I’ve discovered every little park and reserve in my inner city suburb! Even during these winter months in Sydney. I need trees, grass and to hear the sound of birds and rustling leaves. Your photo is gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you, dear Brona. While I was reading your comment I was remembering the walks I had to school as a child, where I, too, explored so many little places on the way. I think we can do some of our best thinking, and calming, on walks such as these. I would love to see Sydney!

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    1. That tweet alternately humored me and then comforted me. I can’t tell you how far I’ve tried to stay from Twitter (and Facebook and Instagram); I do not need more poison in my life than so get from the media as it is. Thank you for showing me I am not alone in my consternation!!!

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    1. If watching Fox was the most damning thing about me, I’d rejoice! I’m afraid my flaws are far more significant, such as the critical spirit I’m constantly trying to tamp down. xo

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  4. Lovely photo of one of my very favorite subjects — wonderful bare trees and a deserted path! Like you, I find nature spiritually and mentally refreshing; I think exposure to it keeps us human, really. Too bad your inquiry regarding timed entries lured a troll out from under its rock.
    I’ve forgotten to say in some of my previous posts how very much I love your blog’s masthead painting. Although Sargent isn’t one of my VERY favorite painters, I do like him a lot and I love this particular painting (isn’t it called “Repose”?). Before my recent move, I visited the National Gallery a lot and almost always spent time looking at it.

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  5. Wow! The best and last places we have left to be free and healthy is within nature!! Sorry you had to endure the insult.

    Remember, too, that Christ has not given us a spirit of fear. I live in California and WHEN our gardens opened briefly, attendees would need to wear a mask. Can you imagine. I wrote them and told them how foolish that was bc how could you smell the flowers if you were wearing a mask. (Needless to say…I haven’t been to the gardens this year.)

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    1. I love that verse from Timothy: we are not given a spirit of fear, but of power and self-control. It is a tragedy that OUTDOOR parks are made unavailable to us, and even worse, the number of churches that remain CLOSED. I understand if people do not feel comfortable going, but at least give those who do a chance to attend! (Our church has been open since July, and it is run beautifully. Every week, we have more people attending from other local churches which remain closed.) Fortunsteky, we can all go to Wal-Mart any time we want.😉 Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  6. So beautifully written and so very true. The temptation to get into fear through these months has been palpable at times, but these are the very times where we are meant to rest in the Lord and exercise our faith and trust in Him. That doesn’t mean flouting the rules and not being wise, but it does mean not hiding and cowering in fear. I heard a minister say the other day, and he was not being flippant, “When did we (meaning Christians) all become so afraid of dying?” We are here for such a time as this and we need to walk in the daily joy (which is our strength) that Christ provides and be lights and love to those around us who are in fear and feel a sense of hopelessness.

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