It's tree-trimming day! Now, I love trees. But as much as I love trees, so much more do I hate trimming them. I mean, trees grow just fine out in the wild, don't they? No problem! So why do we feel like we must "domesticate" the trees in our yards by trimming them?
Still, I have driven down roads with breath-taking scenery flooding my senses, and have given thought to just how much more beautiful that setting would be if those trees were cleaned up a bit.
I recently moved into a home with quite a few trees in its yard. These trees were mature and beautiful. Ok, more than "mature," those trees were old. So old, in fact, that one of them came tumbling down in a huge thunderstorm we had last spring. Once I was settled into my new home, I began looking around at things I wanted to do to update the home and make it "mine." In my search, I began to notice that most of my trees had dead branches that needed to be trimmed off. So began the process ...
The most immediate need was to cut branches off that hung dangerously low and close to my roof. The damage to my roof would have been more than I could afford. So, clip ... they were gone. Then I was able to begin trimming some smaller branches that, again, hung too close to the house. Other smaller trees had dead branches as well, and needed trimming. I was pleased with these efforts as my beautiful trees were looking even better!
The next spring, I began to notice something else: I began to notice (to my great surprise) that without all those dead branches, the trees in my yard were growing fuller and even more beautiful than they were before! It seemed like new life was beginning to happen! So this time, I began to snip off all of the little shoots that were now growing out of the main trunks and off the larger branches. The trees (or were they bushes before?) were now beginning to take on beautiful shapes. All those dead branches were gone, and the new life that was forming as a result was being gently guided in an upward direction, thereby reaching its maximum potential and beauty.
And of course, this got me to thinking: isn't that exactly what God does with us? He loves us enough to meet us right where we are. But He also loves us enough to not leave us there! He "trims" off the "dead" stuff ... negative and/or wrong thinking patterns, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and ideas ... and "shapes" us into the beautiful person He created us to be, fully capable of reaching our "maximum potential" to accomplish the goals for which He created us.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?