Today with the activity at Bayshore House, I was reminded of a lesson that I think is good for all of us to remember. God planted the idea in my mind as soon as I saw the view before me. We all could use a little cutting or trimming. We get hair cuts, beard trims, lawn mowing and all kinds of daily life trimmings and cuttings. But none can give us a better visual than a tree cutting. The ones doing the felling are referred to as Tree Feller or Arborist, to name a couple names used. My father worked in the logging industry when he was a young adult, and later in his life he liked nothing better than to get out into the woods and fell trees to cut up for our wood stoves. It was something he seemed to really enjoy doing. Then when we got back home, we would stack it all in the woodshed. I remember asking him while we were out felling trees when I was little, if it hurt the tree when he cut limbs off or cut down the tree. He assured me that the tree didn’t feel it, that it was alive, but didn’t have feelings like we did. I didn’t feel so bad seeing him cutting the trees down and making wood for the fire after that.
A Feller must have knowledge to do it the right way. He has to know about the tree; what kind it is, how it grows, gauge the height of the tree, where to cut and where not to cut so it will fall right where it needs to. My dad would tell us right where the tree would go and he was always right. We would yell “Timber!” as it went down. A Feller may work with others on a job and may need to give instructions to a less experienced Feller to make sure that he is going at the process in the right way. Particularly in a neighborhood, you can’t just fall a tree any where but where it needs to go because it could cause you to be a VERY bad neighbor, and power companies wouldn’t like you much either. So it is important to have a experienced Feller come for that kind of work. A Feller knows how to trim a tree in order for it to grow in a certain way in the Spring. When it comes to taking the tree down, the Feller must know where he wants the pieces to fall.
It’s like life. We have seasons we go through where God is trying to prune a few things out of our lives. Man!!! That can hurt! It feels like there might not be anything left by the time He is done. We cry out in pain as we let go of parts of our life. God knows where to trim the excess off because He knows where he wants us to grow. It is always good to ask God where He wants to work in us. As an example, we can go out on our own and just start cutting on the trees in our yard, as the previous owners did here, and cause more issues for the future. We can also make the decision to ignore where God is working in our lives and not want to go through the pain of learning about ourselves, or dealing with the the areas God is telling us we need to deal with. Either way, it is a hard process. But if we look at it from the standpoint of where He is taking us, we can better understand that it is best for us to let Him guide the job of pruning and excavation. Our job then is just to be obedient to work with Him.
The trees in our yard that got trimmed do not look very attractive right now. In fact…they are pretty ugly. But when Spring comes, it will be growing in a much healthier way, as the Feller said the trimming is designed to. It is the same for us in our pruning process. The process is painful because admitting we even HAVE a problem in an area is not something we are willing to admit. But when we submit to the Master’s hand and allow Him to prune, trim, or cut down, we will be given a new healthier way of living and a new view of life.
In our case, no more droppings of “presents” on our cars or the neighbor’s yard. Now, is it a process that comes at no cost? Not EVEN. It is quite costly. It can also be costly to us if we allow God to work in our lives to trim or cut what is necessary out of our lives. We have had years of maybe growing in the wrong way, dropping our “presents” on those around us. People in our lives withdrawing because of letting our branches (getting involved) go in areas we shouldn’t. Let God lead and be the Master with the chisel and hammer, or as in our case, the chainsaw, the chipper, in your life. As I mentioned before, when the tree comes down, he starts at the top and takes a length at a time to bring it down. That’s not a bad place for us to start either, right? It starts at the top for us too…right in that ol’ noggin’ of yours. We have thought a certain way so long, that we are comfortable with ourselves as we are. But… if we want to be a person that keeps learning and growing, then we will often have to also be the type of person that is willing to allow the pruning, or even the cutting down, to make way for something new. Think of the small growth on tree trunks that pop out called “suckers”. They look cute, and new growth is always so healthy looking. But if they aren’t trimmed off, they take away from the nutrients of the tree and cause damage to the growth of the tree. Don’t let the enemy plant suckers in you by such things as staying busy, social media, over involvement, or any number of things that cause you to lose out on time for the important things.
As I watched the elder explaining to the younger, he is teaching him the craft and why it is done a certain way. The younger/student than does has the elder/teacher tells him. We need to be doing the same thing in our lives. Listen to the Master. It is for our well-being and it leads to a more joyful outcome. Now we can begin to plant anew in our lives all the things that bring joy instead of frustration. We can change our view entirely. Change doesn’t bother me too much because I know that eventually I will come out the other side with a more contented view of daily life. I might be a bit weary from the process, but I know I will be a better person from what I left behind in the chipper, along with the disappearing wild suckers that were trying grow in me.
When they have completed the process here, we will have one ugly tree, and some big spaces to fill. But the cost is worth it. We can gain a new perspective and view, and we can plant in our yard that which will bring joy to us. New life begins in the same place where old life was taken out and sent to the chipper. I for one am very glad that I know the Master of the process. Just like the Feller today, God knows best how to handle it all. We count the cost today for the work we won’t have to do, and for the natural beauty we will have eventually. It is the same for our pruning process of getting back to what we enjoy the most…healthy soul living.
Let our trimming begin!
Until next time…