Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roots,Trees and a lesson on Seasons of Life...

I was driving back to Birmingham today, and once again an observation of nature brought forth thoughts to ponder...

If you drive I-20/59 thru Tuscaloosa it is very obvious where April's tornado traveled. You can see trees blown sideways and the path the storm took. It was these trees, and this path which got me to thinking... you see there were bare trees next to fruitful ones. There were tall pines with needles next to skinny trunks without a stitch of green to be seen. Some of both, the bare and the fruitful, were interspersed right next to each other. It caused me to wonder how one could have been hit by the storm and not the other, and also (this thought just occuring to me now as I write this) that maybe both were hit but only one recovered... only one's roots were strong enough to bear fruit again. I think we, God's children, are just like these trees. We can only see each other on the outside, we can only see the physical scars of life's storms... we can't see the roots that have created us to be who we are. Those roots may be strong, they may be weak... they may be rooted just enough to help us hold on during the torments of life, but praise God we have those roots and they are what we make of them.

Daddy once pointed out a twisted little tree to me as we were walking through the woods by our house. Now you have to know, the land I grew up on was literally twenty or thirty yards from acres and acres of pines that are harvested every twenty years or so... so there were a lot of trees to look at. This little twisted tree though was a lesson that I'll never forget. I asked Daddy why the tree was growing differently than all the others, and he explained it like this...
{... it had a rough childhood.}

Now I know that the rough childhood he spoke of was weather, but once again... we are like these trees. That little one who was twisted and marred by a storm still grew strong and tall, it just carried the "memories" of the bad times with it. But ultimately, it grew... isn't that what matters? We must, as indivuduals, determine how we are going to make it through the rough seasons in life... whether our roots are supporting us or are holding us back in a place (or a person) we don't want to be.

As I looked at those trees in Tuscaloosa I wondered how God picked the path of that F5 tornado that took so many lives... How did one tree survive to bloom this season and another not. Though that other tree may bloom in a year or so... right now it looks dead, it looks sad. How much are we like those trees sometime in life. One friend may be having a fine season of growth, while another is dealing with a death in the family or loss of a job. We must always remember, however, that though this season we may be blooming, the next tornado or hurricane of a cancer scare or quarter life crisis may hit us and hit us hard. What shall we do in those situations? We must make the decision to grow. We must make the decision to use these storms to dig our supporting roots deeper in our faith and our experiences and not to let them hold us back and stifle our growth because if they do, we cannot progress and process through that season. Lucky for us, the seasons in our lives don't stick to an Equinox/Solstice calendar. They may last a day, a month, a few years... but once again, we are put in those seasons by our Lord, for a reason. I think the goal for me during any season is not to find out why I am there, but simply to learn from it, to add it to my roots... because no matter what season in life it may be, I choose for those scars, those storms, those blooms to help me grow in my own time.

I am in a season right now, and have been for quite a while, in which I am seeking to determine God's will for me professionally. Frankly, I've been in this season longer than I would like...but it's the season He has me in and it is where I will be till I have learned what He wants me to. I accept that and I seek to learn.

I pray that 2012 is a good one for us all. I pray that the Lord sees fit for me to move on to another season in life and that I will have learned from the one I am in now. I pray that storms won't hit me or those I hold dear this year, but if and when they do I pray we will learn, and process, and progress thru them.

Love y'all,

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