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Marge Fenelon falls off her bike and onto God’s lap.
BY MARGE FENELON
evening a few weeks ago, I hopped on my clunky old 10-speed and took to
the trails along Lake Michigan.
This was nothing new. All summer
long, I’d worked my way up and down the shore either on foot or behind a
set of ram-horn handlebars. As my legs and feet worked, my heart and mind
worked. It was my private escape — the place I went to question,
sort, grieve, rejoice, reminisce, release and just listen to whatever
Our Lord was saying to me.
The best part was when the daisies
were in bloom. Either side of the path became a veritable sea of feathery white
petals and bright yellow centers. Daisies are awesome because they’re composite
flowers. What we consider the “flower” is actually a beautiful mosaic of many
flowers put together. The more we look, the more we discover.
Daisies make me think of God’s
plan for me. I think I see the whole lovely thing with one glance, but when I
look closer, I discover a majestic, intricate pattern of tiny flower after
tiny flower. I’d spent a lot of time the past few months meditating on that and
contemplating the various components of my daisy-life.
Riding along that night, I felt a
little sad. The flora of summer had already turned to dry brown skeletons and
fading grasses. Worse, the ride seemed bumpier than it had ever been. Painfully bumpy. I cringed as I approached the section
across from the seminary, where the path is always cracked and creviced. I
started grumbling to myself and wallowing in self-pity. Can’t they repave this dumb path? What do
our taxes pay for, anyway? This is the worst it’s ever been!
Then I broke out laughing. The path hadn’t
changed; I had! My hours on the path
had worn down some of me. It occurred
to me that those painful bumps were symbolic of the questioning, sorting,
grieving, rejoicing, reminiscing and releasing I’d done over the summer.
As I made my way toward
home, I saw the scraggly brown stalks in a different light. Now they
represented all the difficult work I’d endured and the way I’d grown in
They have to
pass away in order to make room for the mosaic blooms of next
summer. Still, I wished I could find just one last, lingering daisy.
Then I saw it — one last bunch of
miniature daisies at the edge of the grass. Jubilant, I waddled
the bike over to the plant, reached down, plucked a sprig and carefully
placed it into my pack. Then I glanced at my watch and panicked. It had gotten
late and I had someplace to be.
In my rush, I didn’t notice that I
had knocked the bike out of gear and misaligned the chain. I jumped down on the
pedal to give myself a vigorous push-start. Instead of bolting forward, the
bike flipped over with me tangled up in the frame.
I sat there for a moment, stunned
silent, waiting for my entire body to crumble into millions of pieces like
the villains in the cartoons when they whack into a brick wall. Then I
broke out laughing again. It hurt like crazy and I was thankful that it did.
“The grass withers, the flower
fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
After all the hard work, after all
the daisies have disappeared, what’s left is God’s word — his plan — and the
changes it has affected in me.
The daisies will be back for
another go-round next spring. God willing, so will I.
Marge Fenelon writes from