March 8, 2017
Property developers try to save the landscape, but if a tree gets in the way, it usually is removed. During recent years, I have observed this process as some acreage that used to be farmland is being prepared for a housing development. There were sizeable trees growing there, but last week they disappeared. They were in the way of progress.
I have been thinking of people who must feel like those trees when they hear that their employment is ending. After working faithfully over a significant period of time, changes in management, or perhaps lack of demand for their services, caused their job to end. Sometimes new technology brings replacement staff or even robots to do the work that humans used to do. Progress can turn our life in a new direction.
There is another area of progress that may cause pain at the time but is necessary in our life journey. In order for positive life habits to be developed, there may be a need for removal of destructive ones. If we struggle with anger, there is likely a root cause. Like a decaying tooth, the pain of removal must precede the implant. For the sake of progress, we must submit to the journey.
Progress looks at the big picture and then determines what needs to happen to accomplish a goal. If the focus is on just the tree, the development will not realize its potential. Trees and houses are temporary, but we must remember that humans and habits have eternal significance. We can plant another tree that someday may need to be removed. But a healthy habit in our life journey could influence another person to trust Jesus – an eternal result.
When Carol and I purchased our house, the beautiful rock facings were blocked from view by the overgrown landscape. To remove and plant was painful, but the result was rewarding. For the sake of progress in my life today, I need to identify and remove whatever is blocking the beauty of Jesus and replace it with deeds of kindness and love.
Pastor Bill Ehmann