Shadowlands a Bench and a Song

Bo'ness the town where I live must be the smartest and tidiest town in the whole of Scotland this week. I seriously doubt if there is a town anywhere in Scotland that will be better turned out this Friday. Yes you've guessed, this is Bo'ness Fair week. hanging-basket I've not had my troubles to seek these last few weeks as the list of things to do has increased especially around the garden. Making hanging baskets and working around the garden is quite therapeutic but it takes up a lot of time. It took me the best part of 30 minutes this evening to water all the plants. However it is really quite amazing to see how things take shape in the garden.  Watering and feeding the plants is an essential  aspect of growing flowers. So is it not the same with our relationships with each other and with God.  We've got to spend time watering and nurturing our friendships. So often we just take each other for granted. I've got a feeling that this has been one of the hottest days yet this Summer. It was a great feeling heading down to the studio where we broadcast Valley FM this morning The Sun was shining  and what better to start the show off than with "Mr Blue Sky" from the ELO.  In fact it was great to play a number of Summertime songs including the Kinks, " Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon". It certainly was the day for lazing around in the sun. lawnWhen it comes to chilling out there is no doubt about it our garden is really a peaceful place. Its brilliant to lookout of my study window and see the evening shadows falling and the golden soft sunlight touch the trees and the grass. To add to all this is the feeling that in the words of CS Lewis ` the term is over and all the holidays have begun" I really love that phrase.  It is beautifully express in Mike Scott's song  " Church Not Made With Hands" have a listen below. There is definitely something quite wonderful for us all to look forward to. One day we will all be out of the shadows living and breathing a new kind of air. Clean and fresh. Too often we're living  and toiling in the dark places in our minds. i love this song because it is full of energy and hope.  [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] We need to be reminded of the blue skies that we can all encounter in our mind's eye.  We can  all create a new perspective on life if we look through the right lens. Its how you see things and value things. let me tell you about the parable of the bench. bench-half-painted1 Among the many things I did today  was the refurbishment of an old bench that has been sitting outside my study window for years.  Its become weather beaten and the worse of the elements. Mrs italker told me to junk it and buy a new one. I decided it was worth saving so I went in search of the right kind of paint. It took me a while because I wanted the texture of the oak wood to be seen in the bench when it was painted. I finally got this shade called "Holly" I think it looks the part.  Here is the result halfway through the process. The thing is I could have left it that way as a kind of  talking point.  it could have been an entry into the Tate Gallery  of Contemporary Art. I could argue that tis picture has a profound meaning. It reminds me that often I want God to start things in my life but I actually don't want him to complete the work he has started. Its as though there are aspects of my old life that I want to hold on to for just a bit longer. The unfinished bench also reminds me that God actually is working on my life at the moment. He has a plan which he is going to complete. The other thing is that no one is going to sit on this bench until it has been completely finished. No one wants  to sit on wet paint.  However if the truth be told  when this photo was taken the paint had been dry for at least an hour. So I guess the motto is  "you can't tell a bench by looking at its colour" Anyway I'm sure you want to see the finished article. Here it is renovated and waiting to be used once again in the garden as a valued piece of the garden furniture. You see it was worth saving. bench-painted
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