I’ve written about pruning before (and it was strangely related to my dog), but it is a topic that really interests me. Maybe because Jesus talked about it and used it as an analogy… you know how I love a good analogy!
Yesterday as I was pulling out of my driveway I heard the unmistakable sound of a chain saw and was horrified to see a group of nursery workers methodically chopping up our favorite tree near the lake just a few blocks from our house. This tree is rumored to be over 100 years old. It is HUGE. You can see part of it in this picture my friend took a few years ago:
Now it’s gone. All that is left in its place is a big pile of wood chips.
We all knew that tree was dying. We were prepared for the worst even though the trauma of it actually happening was a surprise. But even after the big tree was down, I could still hear those chainsaws. Traveling around the lake to work I noticed small piles of branches laying at the base of our small trees. Several freshly cut nubs were visible up the sides of these babies and I knew: pruning time. Here is one of those trees from our yard last Spring before yesterday’s event (plus a really cute wide receiver).
I was surprised at how many small branches were cut off the bottom level (imagine almost half of the branches on that tree laying on the lawn). And then, of course, the analogy hit me. And it couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I’m a busy person … busy, busy, busy. Usually doing for other people, working my job, fixing problems within my power to fix. But I realized looking at the change in the little tree’s shape that if I don’t surrender to pruning, I’ll be growing in the wrong direction. Those spindly branches at the bottom of the tree will keep going out – out – out, but they won’t be able to go up. By cutting off about half of the bottom branches (that weren’t very healthy looking anyway) the pruners sent that tree growing back in the right direction: UP!