The other day I took the boys to a church on the other side of town. After the service, I made them endure a little bit of a walk to the ATM so that I wouldn’t have to make another trip to town later. Amazing how they will run all over the place all day any day, but the moment you want them to walk for so-called business they are extremely tired and can’t handle it. So, I tried to entice them with the promise of walking through Independence Park before reaching the bank. There they could run all around for a several minutes. I didn’t even plan to rush them.
This sounded like a great idea! Ironic, isn’t it? They don’t want to walk, but get excited about running around? Along the few minute walk, they kept asking when we would reach the park.
Finally we made it. But then they didn’t want to run around. They wanted to keep holding my hands and simply walk on the shortest path through the park, back to the sidewalk that would lead us to the ATM.
Children. Will I ever understand them?
As we were nearing the exit, one little boy pointed to a tree and said, “That looks like a snake!” (We do not love snakes in our house. This truth is proved most often through the request to skip the snake scene in We Bought A Zoo.)
As I looked at the snake tree, I realized it was actually two trees with their trunks intertwined. I didn’t love that it looked like a snake coiled around it, but I immediately loved what I was seeing. (Hence the picture from my not-s0-excellent-camera on my phone.)
Two totally different types of trees, completely engrossed in each other (no doubt from the roots, though I couldn’t see them), yet at the same time independently displaying their ‘fruit.’ I didn’t spot any actual fruit at the moment, but you get what I’m saying…
I don’t know the biology of what is happening with these two trees. I don’t know if they are functioning like host & parasite or some kind of symbiotic relationship. So, don’t take my application too seriously in regards to what is really happening here…
My first thought was how this is like a marriage relationship. Two independent people coming together as one. But then maybe they should be making some kind of hybrid fruit (coco-vado? avo-nut? I don’t even know if that is an avocado tree. Man, this is embarrassing.)
But then I was just thinking of relationships and friendships in general.
Lately I’ve been trying to sort through a paradoxical reality. I need to depend on God as my source of strength, hope, etc. I can’t expect people to be that. Yet, I shouldn’t be pushing people out & excluding them either. The dilemma of God being enough, yet iron sharpening iron, as Proverbs 27:17 talks about.
So, I was thinking about this tree, well these trees. Ironically seeming to depend on each other in the middle of Independence Park. Maybe the picture I should be taking from this is that they are both relying on the same source, though I couldn’t see it. Their roots are deep in the ground, absorbing the nutrients in the dirt. They soak in the rays from the sun daily, and the moisture from the rain (also daily this time of year). At the same time the two are growing together. Maybe they don’t need each other–but maybe they are making each other stronger.
Maybe I need to make sure my roots are firm, I’ve got good access to sun and rain…and seek to grow with others who are doing the same.