We have this little oak tree in the back yard that cannot wait each year to begin shedding it’s leaves.
During the hottest part of summer we have to give it a lot of tender loving care. It seems to be suffering from a lack of moisture while its sister tree, planted at the same time, flourishes and continues to keep its green leaves.
When we notice the leaves beginning to turn brown, we begin watering the tree every day. As the winds come through, the brown brittle leaves fall off, flitting through the air as if they were butterflies wafting on the breeze.
Soon, the tree has shed the brown leaves and appears mostly green again, even though it isn’t as green as the other one.
I think about this little tree that can’t seem to wait to shed it leaves. Why is it in a hurry? Does it have a special reason to shedding its leaves early, is it wanting to be ahead of its sister? Or is it like so many of us who just can’t seem to wait for what might be ahead?
We often want to rush into the next project, or next big event. We don’t take the time to enjoy the day, relish in the good times and wait for directions for the hard times.
In the devotional book, “Jesus Calling”, Sarah Young reminds of of our need to wait and not rush. She states, “As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with me.”
Comparing our minds to the spinning of car wheels trapped in mud, she notes that our minds can get stuck on trivial matters and our brains will spin, getting us nowhere.
The Bible tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
This also reminds me of the story of sisters Martha and Mary. When Jesus came to visit, Martha hurried to the kitchen to prepare food for her important guest while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His teachings.
Martha then complained to Jesus about Mary not helping her prepare the food, but Jesus reminded Martha that Mary had chosen the most important thing. Martha felt the need to be the perfect hostess while Mary realized the importance of sitting still and listening.
So many times I have found myself to be in what I thought was the important task of being responsible for having the food prepared for everyone. In the meantime, others were “waiting” and enjoying the company of others. I often laughingly said, “I feel like a Martha in a world of Marys”.
While Martha worried about something that was important, it was not as important as spending time at Jesus’ feet. He reminded her that she was worried and upset about many things, but only one thing was needed. And Mary had chosen that.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all chose to be more like Mary instead of Martha? Why be so concerned about the things of the world when other things are more important?
Why are we like the little oak tree that can’t wait for the proper time to shed its leaves?
Why do we rush about each day, worried about getting everything done in a timely matter and then worrying about what may be coming? We can’t control what happens by worrying and fretting. We must learn to take one day at a time and face tomorrow when it gets here.
As we find ourselves in difficult situations, it is still better to “Be still and know that I am God.”
And I want to make that my choice each day.
Fannie Moore lives in Shongaloo and writes on a variety of subjects.