Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek…  

Last time I wrote, we were in the middle of a dog walk. The walk continues today…

The dogs lead the way down the trail. The old dog seems to pull the hardest, always wanting to be the lead. The bigger, youngest dog is alive to the world, sniffing, tasting, and reveling in the world she plows through. Meanwhile, the little one bounces all over the place, back and forth between me and the other two, trying to be ahead or between, but always with his family.

These dogs have taught me so much about being a community, being a family. Though they are each very different, and have their own ways of dealing with each other, together they are a force to be reckoned with. When they are focused, they all pull together and walk side by side. If I was on skates or in a sled, this walk would be over in no time.

We, too, need to learn this lesson. We are all different. We will never get to the point of always getting along perfectly. We will never agree completely. But, like these three canine companions, there is more that unites us than divides us. Together, we need to learn to pull together to get through this walk we call life. Together, we can get the job done, and make this world a better place. We need to realize our strengths and use those to our advantage, instead of fighting over the small details that so easily divide us.

All too soon, the dogs leap over the log, and we re-enter the world we call life; but not before we pass one more reality of life, death. There is a small cemetery just inside these woods, no more than six graves. It looks ancient, and I wonder about the people who are buried here; how were they connected to these woods? Then I realize that one of the graves is only four years old – the grave of a 70-year-old woman whose last request was to be buried in these woods. Perhaps her children or grandchildren are some of the people I know on this island home. Her resting place in these woods is becoming as special to me as it was to her. I realized we are connected in death, even if we were not in life.

We are home; the dogs drink their water and collapse on the floor. We have found a resting place at home, but where will my final resting place be? Will it be a place that speaks to me of peace, like these woods we just walked? Perhaps my final resting place is to be in the winds over the ocean, that I might float free and easy. There seems to be no greater peace this world can offer.

May your walks be many, and the Source of all Peace continue to inspire me… and you.

Rev. Dave Bieniek

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