Sunday, April 1, 2007

They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot

If you loved the house so much, why'd you sell it? you ask.
Well I tried to put it in God's hands. I honestly didn't think anyone would want it.

When we moved in 23 years ago our little subdivision was surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmland and pine forest. There were hawks circling in the sky and covies of quail rustled through the yard. We awakened each morning to the coos of mourning doves. Those were the sounds. Occasionally a car drove by or a plane flew overhead, but for the most part, the only sounds were those made by the breath of nature.

For fifteen years, the changes were slow. When a grocery store popped up at the end of the road it seemed harmless enough despite the fact that it devoured 15 acres of trees. The farmland and pine forest sold. A school was built followed by hundreds of homes and townhomes.

The quail fled, the mourning doves left and the dominant sounds became those of cars and heat/air conditioning units. The 500 acres of pine forest across the street were burned to the ground from the inside out before local residents knew what was happening.

One sad morning when the forest was cleared, we observed two hawks atop one of our trees. They seemed shell shocked, and were reminiscent of the old commercial of the Indian with the tear in his eye.

Houses were piled one on top of the other. Walking my dog descending into that neighborhood the vision reminded me of the rooftops of London as seen by Peter Pan. The indigenous pine trees that bear sturdy deep roots were replaced by lovely ornamental trees that topple over at the slightest breeze and require four landscapers to ever so delicately restore and tie them into position.

What is the message here my dear friends?

ONLY GOD CAN GROW A TREE. They grow in His time according to His plan, not ours.

New people who move in do not feel the loss. They have no familiar knowledge of what once was. This is a good move for the family living in our old house. It will be a wonderful environment for their children and they will have more positive educational opportunities.

In letting go and moving on I am challenged and convicted to share the lessons to be learned.

I need not look far for God says it all in His Word:

"Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees" - Revelations 7:3

May the Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.

Don't it always seem to go
that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
-Joni Mitchell

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