You can learn quite a bit from looking at a tree. Do you see any ‘lessons’ here?
Consider its location; it’s set apart from the woods behind it; it’s set apart from the crowd. It isn’t brand new, in fact it appears to have been there for quite some time. It stands tall, and yet it shows some signs of having survived many storms. Yes, I think we can learn something from this tree…
As Christians, we live in a world that is largely in rebellion against God; this is well documented and I doubt I need to elaborate on it today. In this tired and confused world, we are supposed to be “set apart” for God, and as luck would have it, that is exactly what the word “holy” means. We are supposed to be holy. This tree, in a sense, is “holy.” All too often Christians seem to have the mistaken notion that holy means “perfect” or better than other people, but it simply means set apart.
To be set apart means that we don’t live for all of the things that our world calls upon us to do or be. For example, in today’s culture we are supposed to put ourselves first, to look out for number one, to go for the gusto (whatever ‘gusto’ is). A boss told me once that if I don’t blow my own horn nobody else would either. He was right, but are we supposed to be so self-centered? Well, in the culture, yes, but if we are set apart for God: No. Are we supposed to be concerned simply with the idea that he who has the most toys wins? Not if we live a holy life.
To give all glory to God, to put others first, to be selfless and to serve God by serving others: this is what it means to be holy. To keep being holy through long years, trials and storms, this is what a tree can teach.
Isn’t it amazing what we can learn from a tree?