Visiting the Burren in County Clare, Ireland – Queen of Ordinary – October 31, 2014

IMG_5873 The Burren – County Clare, Ireland

As we drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, we stopped in the Burren National Park.  Of course one stop doesn’t do justice to the whole thing, but I had never seen such a lonely, rocky, forsaken looking place.

After returning home and doing a bit of  internet research I found The Burren to be an amazing, fascinating place.  The Burren has evidence of inhabitants over 6,000 years ago.  There are archaeological sites of importance across the area, and 75% of all of Ireland’s flora and fauna can be found in the Burren.

It is a good lesson that we can judge nothing by one glance or one short visit.  The high season for plant species had ended about a month before we got there and includes a combination of species found only in that region.  When we were there it looked as though it would be impossible for anything besides scrub grass and bushes to survive the rugged landscape on the edge of the sea.

I suspect that if we were there in spring or summer, the place would look entirely different.  I wish had known more about The Burren before we visited.  I would have judged it entirely differently.  All we were looking at was a snapshot of a place on one day and on a day beyond the floral season.

I can’t help wondering how often we do that to other people.  We see someone on a trying day, a barren day, somewhere beyond their high season of growth and flourishing life and that’s all we see… a snapshot that is only a small fraction of the whole person.  Just as the land passes through seasons, so do people pass through seasons in their lives.  Just taking one glimpse of someone on any given day is absolutely no reflection of who they are, where they’ve been, what they are going through, or the marvelous plans that God still holds for them in their next abundant season.

When we look at ourselves, sometimes we feel like we’ve lost our bloom.  When we are walking through the dry seasons of life and the rocky barren places, it is easy to get discouraged.  Yet, if we hold on to what we know to be true about God’s love for us and what we know about ourselves as His children, we can be assured that there will come another season of change and abundance in our lives.

Psalm 139:16  “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”

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