“Things do not change; we change.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Most folks around this part of the world would call it a “tank.” I prefer to refer to it as Walden Pond (you’re welcome Henry David Thoreau). I enjoy hanging out nearby this time of year in particular because the autumn wind and chill combine to purge the organic clutter that tends to accumulate and obscure what resides beneath much of the time. We positioned a park bench about ten feet from the pond’s northerly edge, putting winter wind at our backs and fashioning a comfortable perch from which to dream, doubt, hope, hurt, confess, recover, resolve—all of which are synonyms for “pray.” Grandchildren grace the edges of Walden Pond in Spring with fishing poles and rods & reels in hand. Father-son, father-daughter, mother-child, and grandparent-grandchild dynamics serendipitously unfurl before the waiting bass and catfish. No subject is off-limits, and nothing prevents life-lessons from rolling off the tongue and into hearts. I have stood near the red and purples irises that parole the perimeter, and spoken of Jesus, heaven, Africa, church, baseball, guns, honesty, forgiveness, and only heaven-remembers-what-all-else. Turtles line-up at attention on a fallen log, blue herons frequent the shallows in search of choice morsels, kingfishers chatter across its surface, willows bend and sweep its edges according to the wind’s demand. Real life happens on and near Walden Pond, and it reminds me that life changes normally occur gradually midst the unnoticed and ordinary, rather than the startling and terrifying. The secret to growth lies in recognizing grace in the commonplace, and tuning-in to God’s still small voice that is seldom detected above the incessant din of calendar and clock. Everyone has a Walden Pond, although it may masquerade as your garage, living room, backyard, kitchen, or any other location where you laugh and cry, suffer and heal. Growth awaits you there. Clear the clutter, honestly assess your heart, and grant your Father space and time to draw you near. You will never be the same.