Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 2007

I’ve been pondering how, contrary to our persistent beliefs, nothing is wasted or forever ruined. There’s always hope. There’s always redemption. This really does seem to be at the core of what it means to live under God – rather than attempting to live as God.

A year or so ago, two friends gave me a limited, hand-printed edition of one of Wendell Berry’s poems. It sits immediately in front of me as I type. It watches over me as a I write. It watches over me as I prepare sermons. Berry’s words remind me of something important for my life as a pastor and a writer, a father and a friend.

I go by a field where once
I cultivated a few poor crops.
It is now covered with young trees, 
for the forest that belongs here
has come back and reclaimed its own.
And I think of all the effort 
I have wasted and all the time,
and of how much joy I took 
in that failed work and how much
it taught me. For in so failing
I learned something of my place,
something of myself, and now
I welcome back the trees.

Wendell Berry
Sabbaths 2007, no. 9

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