June 27th, 2012
My wife Lana and I went on an evening bike ride towards the end of last week. I have a lot of fond memories of our spending time like this together. We talk and get exercise as we cycle through what is mostly back roads out into the country. We passed a spot that we have cycled past several times over the past few years, an abandoned farmhouse that is literally be swallowed up by vegetation and ivy. It is fascinating, and I knew that I had to return with my camera as the effect seemed more pronounced this time than ever before.
I drove back the next evening when the sun was well past its zenith and the light was more directional, and began shooting it from multiple angles. I found different bits of goodness from every angle. I would like to go back at a sunset and shoot it again. For that matter, it would interesting to shoot the structure in winter as well, when all of that green has died away and just the dried husks of the vine remain.
It is an amazing illustration of the relentless nature of, well, nature. Like grass growing between the cracks in sidewalks, or roots pushing through concrete, nature has a way of being relentless. In this case the ivy is literally swallowing up this dilapidated farmhouse, growing up, around, and over it. I would love to see the interior, the tendrils forcing their way through broken windows. This is nature’s reclamation project, and with time and a lack of human interference, this structure that was once a home will simply cease to be.
What a great reminder of the temporal nature of things in the world! A house that was once a home is now in the process of disintegration. Around the world we visit the ruins of past societies. Their greatest accomplishments are often reduced to rubble; in many other places the life’s work and accomplishments of people and societies have completely vanished without a trace.
This isn’t intended to be a depressing piece; it is simply to illustrate that earthly things are temporal. We shouldn’t get too caught up in things. There are things that are more important. Jesus put it this way:
Matthew 6:19-21 KJV Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The earth is going to reclaim it’s things, but there are other things that last for eternity. Think about that the next you are tempted to give your children a thing rather than time, or the next time you are tempted to give your career all of your devotion instead of your spouse. You can take your spouse and your kids into eternity, but you can’t take things. And don’t forget the words of poet C.T. Studd, “Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”