Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
– Galatians 6:9
These two phrases are on repeat in my mind.
Don’t Give Up.
You Are Not Alone.
My God is reassuring me in His special ways, encouraging me in the journey, letting me know He is with me and it’s worth all the effort.
Like on Thanksgiving weekend…
Elijah and I decide to go for a bike ride around the neighbourhood.
I ask him if we can visit a new spot; it’s one that I’ve wanted to check out for a long time.
We buckle up our helmets and away we go!
A few minutes later we arrive at the lakefront. There is no sandy beach here, just big black rock leading into cool blue water.
We have to cross the tracks to get to the water. In Sudbury we always have to cross the tracks to get somewhere. I constantly feel like I’m crossing thresholds, entering new territory, stepping into something beyond myself.
Elijah and I make our way down to the water and he steps closer to get a feel for the coolness of the lake.
A small fishing boat drifts by with two passengers inside, and I get my first inkling that we are not alone.
There are others who venture out to enjoy the beauty of this place.
Then a solitary kayak passes us as we stand on the shoreline.
Another beauty-seeker in our midst.
We turn from the water and check for paths leading to different views along the lake.
We find one small path and we set out.
It doesn’t lead very far, and along the way we see garbage strewn here and there, messing up the view, blocking the beauty of this once-pristine place.
We say to each other that someone needs to clean up and maybe next time we’ll bring a plastic bag or two.
Just after we say the words two people come over the ridge.
Someone sent more people to enjoy the scenery.
Someone asked them not to come empty-handed.
Someone asked them to bring garbage bags and rubber gloves with them.
At first we don’t clue in to what they are doing.
Then they start to pick up garbage and place the discarded items in their bags, and we turn to each other and smile.
We are not alone.
Don’t give up.
Especially not in doing good.
We make our way back to the path that leads up and out of the lake scene.
We stop along the way and say a few words of encouragement to our fellow beauty-seekers.
They have a special eye for beauty because they can see it amongst the garbage and they are clearing the way for beauty to shine through loud and clear in this place.
We tell them how we were just saying we should bring a bag to help clean up next time we visit.
Then they arrived immediately after the words left our mouths.
The lady comments that it’s a shame how people try to drown out the beauty that surrounds the lake.
She says that her friend and herself couldn’t in good conscience just leave the place the way it was.
I get it.
I feel like that a lot.
And I know I’m not the only one, but sometimes I can’t see the others. Sometimes I need a reminder. And He knows that.
Elijah walks by the lady and he stops to look her in the eye.
He holds her gaze and says with such a sincere voice, “Thank you.”
She looks up from the task at hand and sees my son with the sparkly eyes and she says, “OMG, You are such a sweetheart.”
And my mother’s heart is instantly blessed.
I smile big.
We leave the lake and find our bikes and start the journey home.
It wasn’t a long journey to the water that day, and it wasn’t a long journey home.
Sometimes you don’t have to look very far to know you are not alone.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to encourage a weary heart to keep going and not give up.