Theology in the Trenches: Pondering Near the Pond

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

Down to the end of the dock I pattered. Reflective I was, pondering what the Almighty can do as I peered into the stillness below. Shallow were the waters, and shallow is how I was feeling as I took a gander at the plant growth late summer upon the lake.

Minnesota Fall was in the air as the cool morning mist rose. Looking down, I paused. In silence, I paused. Green waters, green weeds, green trees reflected upon the surface and quite frankly, the stillness began to irk me.

Suddenly, there in the muck, I saw movement.

Life, I thought. Just what I was hoping for, validation that all is well. The three little minnows swimming round and about stirred something deep within. All too soon, they disappeared.

Where’s the life? Where did it go? Lord, you sent it once, but I’d like to see more of it. Where is it? My thoughts turned to prayer and soon I was pleading for that which I’d once known and held dear, to return.

It did not. As I waited, I thought about how odd it was to see the water below me totally void of movement. Not even a bitty bug was crawling atop the murky water.

Moments passed as the stillness turned into longing for the familiar, longing into impatient pouting, pouting into sadness and grief. Then, just at the moment when my thoughts were about to become verbal, I saw it.

There, reflecting in the water below was a picture of what was happening far above. Upon the surface reflected not only the brilliant blue sky above, but soaring majestically with wings stretched wide was a white seagull. At that very moment, a quiet single ripple completed a circular frame round the panoramic view in view. With eyes downcast, I almost missed it. So focused was I on what I desired, that I nearly missed the moment being painted in the heavens above.

Be Thou my vision Lord, for I see with such limited scope. You see the bigger picture, in ways everlasting. No wonder you taught us to pray, “Thy will be done” (Matt. 6:10).

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God bless Your ways over my own. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)