Have you ever been driving when all of a sudden you snapped to and thought, “How’d I get here?! Did I just run that red light?!”
I hate to admit it, but I feel on “auto-pilot” more often than not. I’ll zip through Russell towards school only to realize that I was already there and couldn’t remember any of the in between.
This week, for the first time, I noticed a tree that I’ve driven by for 35 years.
There’s a church in my neighborhood that has this tree that I’ve never seen before.
I have sledded down it’s hill, ridden my bike through it’s path, and climbed all around it.
But never noticed it until this week.
Wanna see it?
This picture doesn’t do it justice. It literally is 2-3 stories high.
I imagine that at one time this mighty tree was just that.
Big and majestic.
Yet I noticed that flanking it’s naked, long, branch-fingers around it’s still strong trunk was something choking it out.
Some sort of weed or tree or stray bush.
What ever it was, through years of neglect, the bush has grown higher and thicker and more demanding of the large tree.
To the detriment of the tree, the bush is thriving.
It makes me sad.
I feel like so many people are the tree.
Allowing small pet sins or behaviors or habits to choke them out.
To suck the life out of them.
To be their demise.
The tree has lost it’s purpose.
It doesn’t provide shade.
It doesn’t provide shelter.
It doesn’t provide fruit or a home to animals or beauty anymore.
Instead it looks like something from a horror movie.
All because a little, still small, bush has been allowed to transform and choke it out, sucking and draining all the life from it’s core.
The other day I was doing some cleaning around the house.
Which, is hilarious to say when you have kids.
In our house we have all hardwood or tile floors. Just two rugs in the whole joint.
One of the rugs is in our living room and it didn’t look dirty, but I wanted to straighten up anyway.
I moved the rug over and got to sweeping.
One week’s of dirt. Feast your eyes on this…
Where is God’s name does this come from?! I mean, we could build a sand castle!
The rug didn’t look dirty at all, but hiding underneath the rug was God knows what from who only knows where!
Please, for all that’s holy, NO ONE tell me, “Oh but Jill! You’re going miss this one of these days!”
No I’m not.
The little people are precious to me…but they are filthy.
Especially Ellie, our tiniest one.
She’s like Pigpen.
So leave it God to bring something to light while sweeping.
People I’m telling ya, He will speak to you if you will listen.
Just like He’s already told us in Mark 4:22, The Message (MSG)
“Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open.”
I honestly thought the floor under the rug was fine.
Until I started to clean it
Even Reagan said to me tonight, “Mom, you don’t really know how dirty something is until you start to clean it.”
The tree probably thought it was fine too until it’s leaves started to fall and it was too late.
Matthew 13:7 says, ““What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
Our wildest dreams.
I don’t want to be the once beautiful but now strangled monstrosity.
I don’t want to be a seemingly clean rug that is hiding a bunch of crap either.
I want it all out there, good and bad, handed over to the only One who can make me right.
Handed over to the only One who can trim back the weeds and the bushes that try to keep me from the beauty that He has for me.
Handed over to the One, who only through my permission, can clean out the hidden dirt and clean away the small things that keep me from my wildest dreams.
You may be on autopilot, yet staring at what’s holding you back straight in the face.
Ask Him to reveal it to you.
I’m pretty certain He has some of your wildest dreams to fulfill if you do.
I’m a book-shelving, former tap dancer, wanna be writer, singer,
and banjo player, mother of 4, wife of 1, follower of Christ,
walking in the shadow of the Proverbs 31 woman
and redeemed by the grace and love of an Almighty God…
just living the dream.