like a tree
Jul 29 2020


I want to be like a tree when I grow up.


Specifically, I want to be like a redwood. Spending the last couple of weeks immersed in redwood forests in California and Oregon, these gentle giants taught me a few lessons about resilience and longevity.


Don’t be in a hurry.


Nothing happens overnight. Except sleep and Amazon delivery. Trees grow slowly but steadily over time. Some redwoods were around for thousands of years! Have you ever seen one in a hurry?


Have a thick skin.


The bark of these trees protects them from fire and insects. Even when they are burned out, they heal. They grow burls in the places where they have been stressed. These scars are beautiful and each is unique.


Stick together.


Redwood trees have wide roots that interlock with other trees. This helps everyone stand tall together and creates a cool environment underneath for ferns, clover and wildflowers to thrive.


Shelter the vulnerable.


The older, stronger, larger trees shelter the young and vulnerable ones. The forest is as much an interconnected organism as the individual tree. It reminds me of families, individuals, churches and societies.


Nothing is wasted.


Even when trees die, they nourish the soil for the others or are useful for timber or firewood. Nothing goes to waste.


I want to be like a tree. The Bible has something to say about how to do that. Psalm one is a poem I memorized in high school and it is still with me. Read it and meditate on it and then join me Sunday morning as I will be back in the pulpit bringing a message on how to be like a tree planted by streams of water.

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