Learning from the redwoods
As Liz and I are vacationing in California we have had a chance to spend some time with some of the oldest living creatures on the planet – the giant Redwood trees in Northern California.
As I stood in front of a massive tree over 1800 years old called ‘The Grandfather” I realized that this tree was planted just a couple hundred years after Christ’s death and resurrection; I also realized that there may be some lessons thing that I could learn from “grandfather”.
As I watched a video about the redwoods played in the national park site I learned that redwoods do not have deep root systems. Their root systems only go 10-12 feet underground; but they do go wide – up to hundreds of feet. Get this, one tree interlocks his roots with another tree so that they gain a surer footing and that they can share their water and food transport systems. Another exciting feature of these trees is that an identical version of the tree lies dormant at the base of the trunk so if the tree gets into trouble, i.e. gets sick or dies, the twin comes to life and grows alongside the host tree in essence carrying on its legacy.
How do some of the redwood features apply to us a Christians and to our prayer lives?
Well, first for a tree to last as long as the redwoods the environmental conditions need to be just right for growth and protection. We as Christians create our environment for spiritual and emotional growth through our prayer life. Talking with God is fundamental to our livelihood, our growth and our longevity. Have you had a talk with God today?
Liz had made a comment about the utter quietness in the redwood forest. It’s almost like I can hear the redwoods talking to God as the wind rushes through their limbs.
Secondly, how can we ensure a long life and happiness? Do what the redwoods do; interlock your root system with other believers. Become accountable; do not try to “go it alone”. Find and nurture what one leader calls “Bumper Buddies” – someone that can bump you back on the path when you stray off of it.
Finally, how can you live on when sickness or death strike? Well, like the redwood, duplicate yourself in others, whether they are your natural or spiritual children; pour your life into others and when you come to the end of your life; they can continue to carry the torch and continue your legacy and hopefully rise higher than you ever dreamed.