I donít know about you, but I tend to get cabin fever this time of year. Because of the winter weather, my outside activities have been temporarily curtailed: Iíve put away my macro lens camera until the spring. I havenít been walleye fishing in weeks.
However, yesterday, I just couldnít stand it anymore. I dressed warmly and went outside for an inspection of my flowerbeds.
I decided to dig up two false spirea bushes. I found them to be too invasive in their current location.
I then pondered on moving a small, young lilac bush that had suffered damage from last yearís winter. Only a small portion of it survived. I explored options on where to transplant it later.
I moved on to another area to plot possible structural changes. I vicariously imagined adding paving stones to a small retaining wall.
I need dirt. I could always use more dirt, it seems.
I love to change up the landscape in the gardens. Can you tell?
On another subject, I have always thought it was just me, but the landscape of scripture will, upon occasion, be changed up on me. Unlike the gardens, I seemingly have no control over this.
Itís the strangest thing. Quite often, when I am reading the Bible, I will come upon a verse or two that seems new, entirely unfamiliar to my eyes.
When it comes into view, I stop to puzzle over it: ďHuh, I donít ever remember seeing that before.Ē
Itís as if there are ďBible Gnomes,Ē who mischievously alter texts in the Holy Book during the dead of night Ė much to their delight, and my torment.
However, since I donít believe in such things (publicly), perhaps this is Divine Providence? Maybe? You tell me.
I do wonder if I am somehow meant to notice something in there at just the right time? Quite honestly, I do not have a definitive answer. You tell me.
When it comes right down to it, I think this is a good thing. Such surprises remind me to read scripture as if I were encountering those passage for the very first time Ė a fresh reading. If we do so, it can encourage us to change up the landscape of our lives.
In this way, the Bible can speak to us in quite a beneficial way Ö whether placed there by Bible Gnomes or not.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.