One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 52:8 – But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
A green olive tree – growth, newness, and renewal. Whenever I read it, I ask myself – can it really happen? Can things on our planet be green again? I am not just talking about environmental issues, but issues of the soul as well. For no matter
what our creeds, songs, or readings may tell us, our hearts settle on another
belief, altogether. Mostly, we have accepted the winter of this world as the final word and
tried to get on without the hope of spring – of green. It will never come, we have assumed, and so I must find whatever life here that I can.
We have become so committed to arranging happiness that we have
missed the signs of God’s green emerging all around us. We haven’t given any serious thought to
what might be around the corner, what God is doing just upstream. In fact, if eternity were to appear tomorrow, how shocked would we be with the revelation of life that God has around us? It would be like the explosion of leaves, spring, and sun that arrived in Chicago this last week,
only more so. Our practical apathy would be revealed.
imagination so powerfully magnifies time, by continual reflections upon
it, and so diminishes eternity . . . for want of reflection, that we
make a nothing of eternity and an eternity of nothing.
I take this to mean that, of
course, we aspire to happiness we can enjoy now. Sometimes it seems my heart has no
place else to go. If I told you
that your income would triple next year, and that European vacation
you’ve wanted is just around the corner, you’d be excited, hopeful. The
future would look promising. It seems possible, desirable.
But our ideas of heaven, while possible, aren’t all that desirable.
Whatever it is we think is coming in our next season,
we don’t think it is worth getting all that excited about. We make a
nothing of eternity by enlarging the significance of this life and by
diminishing the reality of what the next life is all about. But God is in the business of growth. Green is his favorite color!
-inspired by John Eldredge’s Journey of Desire