Today I talked to trees. No worries I am not losing my mind in South Africa (so don’t worry dad!). It is amazing what you can learn from nature when you open up your eyes and pay attention. The trees taught me a very important lesson about life today. South Africa has some of the most amazing trees I have ever seen. Everyone is different. They are also very massive and resilient. You can see their resiliency just by looking at them. Their trunks must be very strong because if you look at the rest of the tree you will see all of the many different ways it has been pulled. The branches stretch and bend in every direction imaginable. So trees lean so far in one direction that if I sneezed they would fall over. But no matter what happens the trunk of the tree and the roots are so strong the tree keeps standing.
So on my walk back and forth to school today, the trees taught me a powerful lesson about life. They told me that in life there will be many storms and obstacles that come our way that will try to break us. These people or situations will push and pull us in many different directions. They will do everything in their power to get us to break apart and lose it. Times may get so hard and push and stretch us past our breaking point. These times come in life all the time.
But something important that the tree taught me is that even if these times come (and they will) we must have a strong trunk. Or in our case a strong foundation or base. If our base is strong then no matter what happens in our life we will still be standing. The winds can blow and the grounds can shake but if our base is strong then we will still be standing at the end of the storm.
Another thing the trees taught me is not only do we need to have a strong trunk or base or foundation, but our roots must also be very strong and deep. These massive trees have roots that go very very deep into the earth. They must be deep in order to soak up the water and nutrients the earth has to offer. The soil around these trees is very poor and rocky, so if the roots are not deep enough the tree will just die and stop growing. So we must be rooted and grounded in something deep and real. Our roots must be strong and deep in order to tap into the water supply of life and nutrients we need in order to keep growing. If our roots are shallow or superficial then our growth will be stunted and eventually die out. Some of the people we surround ourselves with are shallow and negative. They represent the rocky soil in our lives. If our roots don’t stretch to people who are positive and deep then we will stop maturing and getting better.
So this tree had a lot to say. And I am glad I took the time to listen. I learned that storms will come in life. The wind will blow, rain will fall, and the ground may shake or even split open. But if our foundation is strong and our base is in Christ then no matter what happens in life or how far people or situations push and pull us we will still stand. At the end of the day, when everything else around us is destroyed we will still be standing.
Not only does our base have to be strong in Christ, but our roots also must be planted deep. We must surround ourselves with positive and supportive people. People that will continue to feed into our lives and support our growth not hinder it. If we do all of these things no matter what storm comes into our life, even if its a 8.9 Earthquake we will still be standing!
I am glad I stopped to listen to this tree. Just imagine what you could learn from God’s creation if you just stopped and listened and payed attention. Praise God for trees!