Wow this weather has been incredible! I think the sunshine lifts all our spirits. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1 NIV) God has given us such a beautiful province and country to live in – He is truly gracious.
This time of year and the beautiful weather reminds me of maple syrup season. The other day, when our government announced the change in March break for schools, I said to Janice, “How are they going to do maple syrup?” Janice laughed but it was the first thing that I thought of – you need a lot of hands to collect sap especially on a day like Wednesday.
I have so many wonderful memories from all my years doing maple syrup with my wife’s family. At its, peak we tapped four different properties and hundreds of trees. It took a real team effort and working literally night and day. We had a little pipe line collection but it was mostly by buckets which is labour intensive. On top of that, we had to truck the sap from three different sites to the shack where we boiled it down. Early in the season, like today, the sap is best with a ratio of forty to one. The sap has about 2% sugar content; good maple syrup has around 62% sugar content. Some of the greatest memories I have were formed during those days.
As I thought about those memories my mind kept gravitating to the whole subject of discipleship. When Jesus called His disciples He said to “Come…follow me.” (John 1) In other words “Come and be with me – come and spend time with me – come and walk with me.” In the process of making maple syrup, I got to spend time with my father-in-law and through watching him and listening to him, he got to impact me. In the everyday things of life we impact people in many ways we are probably not aware of. God uses the simple things of life to transform us. Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) There is an old saying that depicts faith as being “Taught and caught.” I think both transpire as we share simply and honestly, in day to day living, with others. I was so blessed that my father-in-law asked me to “walk with him.” I will be eternally grateful.
I read this little illustration the other day that I believe is very appropriate. “A father and son arrived in a small western town looking for an uncle whom they had never seen. Suddenly, the father, pointing across the square to a man who was walking away from them, exclaimed, “There goes my uncle!”
His son asked, “How do you know when you have not seen him before?” “Son, I know him because he walks exactly like my father.”
May that be our goal – to walk enough like Jesus that others would recognize Him in us. Maybe you don’t make maple syrup but you do a multitude of things that can influence others for Christ. Just think about it. I believe sometimes the simple endeavours are the best. By helping create great memories we share the life of Jesus. My friends remember to do it with joy and others will follow in His steps.
God bless you as you seek to love others and enjoy the weather
– Pastor Ralph