A Tree & A Hippo

Posted by jon on August 6, 2009 in but seriously..., not so deep thoughts |

tree2“If a tree falls in my yard and no one moves it, is it really there if I ignore it.”

I really hate doing yard work. Most visitors to my home can attest to that. “Let my green grass grow,” (spoke in my best Ten Commandments voice) that’s my lawn care philosophy. It makes me feel a little bad that 2 of my 3 neighbors keep their lawns in perfect condition (for one it borders on an obsession), but then I go inside and close the door and don’t think about it again. Selfish, yes, but yard work combines heat, allergies, and nastiness with the fact that it will need to be cut again in a week or two, and as appealing as that is, I’ll pass.

But I digress. This is the story of a boy and his tree, his three trees. The boy had a sick tree, a sad tree, and a mute tree, and also a hippo. Wait…there is only one tree, moving on. In the early hours of Mother’s Day 2008 we were awoken by a horrible storm and a loud crash. Upon inspection all seemed well until a flash of lightning showed me a tree that had fallen in our yard. Amazingly it fell in the only direction where it could do no damage to our home, garage, or fence. We knew we had been very lucky, but as the total damage became known we had no idea how lucky. There was no hope of getting a tree service as they were swamped with more critical matters.

Tiff’s dad was nice enough to come over and cut up the fallen pieces of the trunk. He even cut down the last 15 or so feet of tree still standing. So I was now the proud owner of 20-30 large pine logs, plus an endless maze of limbs and branches. Haul away is of course much easier when you live next to woods, so I began trying to move the pieces away. I began with the lower trunk pieces since they were already close to the back of the yard, but they were far too big and the best I could do was roll them to the back of the fence. The more I moved the more discouraged I became because rolling logs may move them but they are still in the yard and I knew I would soon be out of strength. So I left to the job with the intension of returning to it with friends.

treemoverA month passed, then 2, 6, a year, a year and a half, and still there was a tree in the yard. One day while I was trying to cut around the tree I started breaking off limbs so I could cut closer. I carried the limbs into the woods. After moving the limbs I noticed a lot of the pieces of trunk towards the top of the tree were quite small and I easily moved them as well. I kept carrying away pieces, through to the middle of the tree where it did take a good effort to move those pieces, but in a surprisingly short amount of time I was all the way down to the large pieces at the bottom. Well I decided I’m not leaving 2 logs in the middle of the yard no matter how big they are. So with a lot of effort, I knew I’d regret in the next 24 hours, I got the last pieces up and into the woods. The tree was gone!

Since my tree moving experience I’ve been stuck on a truth. We are all called by God to do more than we can possibly do, but God promises to provide. So we enthusiastically jump into our calling and all too often we see how impossible is truly seems. Frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed soon paralyze our mission. We can become angry wondering why God would send us into something that we couldn’t accomplish or we beat ourselves up over our failure. The truth is even the smallest bit of faith can command a mountain to move, and there are times where God moves in awesome and unmistakable ways, but most of the time it’s not the faith to watch the mountain move but it’s the faith that God will provide and protect while we move a stone at a time.

trees1We are so concerned with the parts of our job that seem undoable and we pray that those will get done. When many times if we would do everything we can do those undoables would seem much more manageable, and before you know your faith has moved a mountain, or a tree. God is Everywhere.


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