So my friends, here it is January 15, 2021. A new year but the same tree.
On a quick trip to Pennsylvania in early December to meet our new grandson, we accompanied our son and daughter-in-love to the tree farm to cut a live tree. They had their heart set on that. Too bad we were a weekend too late and they had to “settle” for a nice, but not a “cut-it-yourself” tree.
By the time Linda and I returned home and headed to the local Lowes parking lot to buy our tree, I figured we would get some sort of bedraggled Charley Brown tree (mostly branches with no needles) and have to be good with it. Imagine my surprise when, in the middle of a vast tent of already picked over trees, we found the most perfect tree ever – size, shape, variety – all just what we would have ordered. Amazing.
Now even more amazing, some 5 weeks later it still hasn’t lost a needle and every morning throws off a fragrance. No signs of “bedraggled-ness”. Maybe it’s a special COVID-tree that we’re supposed to keep until the end of the pandemic! It seems that this tree will never quit.
This never-ending tree reminds me that my life doesn’t always shine so bright. I notice it particularly with respect to vision. Sometimes my vision for reaching leaders in Europe gets a bit bedraggled. I feel droopy and the vision feels like a chore rather than a delight.
Do you ever find yourself with a bedraggled vision? Maybe it’s your vision for Europe that was stoked as you got involved with Momentum Europe and now it’s choked out with the clutter of domestic or world events. Or maybe it’s a vision to reach your loved ones or neighborhood with the sweet fragrance of Christ but there’s little motivation to pursue it. Do you sense the needles falling off?
Well, if you do, take heart. The Apostle Paul sometimes must have felt his needles drooping. Otherwise he wouldn’t have written, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for we at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).
Someday soon Linda and I will have to de-decorate that tree that doesn’t quit. It will be a sad day because it’s been such a gift. The best tree in our 45 Christmases together will always serve as a reminder to me to never quit.
So even on our most bedraggled days when the vision for ministry is drooping, let’s remember Paul’s words to the Galatians:
- Let’s not grow weary
- Let’s never give up
- We will reap a harvest!
- Let’s never give up