This is Pastor Tim’s article that appeared in the Evening Leader on July 12, 2021
In our world, there is one thing you can always count on and that is the direct line between health and growth. God created our world to be a place where healthy things will grow. We can grow physically, but in order to grow to our best potential, we have to have good nutrition and exercise. Our relationships can grow over time as well, but they need to be cared for with time and effort. Our minds can also grow, but they need to be challenged and educated. Even our spiritual lives can grow, but in order to do so, they need to be nurtured with prayer and worship.
But, just like everything else in our world, there is balance, and the other side of health and growth is death and decay. Death is inevitable; it is something we are all eventually going to do. It is a part of living in this world. However, there are things we can do to put more life in the years between now and that inevitable moment we depart from this world.
What got me thinking about this whole issue of growing and dying was a tree. Yes, I am a simple man and I love trees. But this is a particular tree that probably almost all of you who live in St Marys have seen at one time or another. On Indiana Avenue across the street from Beer Barrel, standing in Grand Lake Healthcare System’s front yard is a welcome to St Marys sign. This big, white sign lists all of the churches in the community. I plan on repainting the sign and working on the landscaping around it so I went to scout out the area. That is when I found a tree growing in the landscape.
I got to thinking about that tree and realized that I would like to have a tree in my backyard, so I considered replanting it. After some research, I found out it was a walnut tree. I don’t want to be firing shrapnel at my neighbors every time I mow, so my backyard would not work. My parents though have a pasture in their backyard they do not mow and in that space, that tree can drop walnuts to its heart’s content. My plan is to dig the tree out and replant it in my parent’s back yard. My dad loves trees and he is very excited to get it, so it will work out great. He is working on a place to plant the tree even as I type this article.
I could have cut that tree down but instead, I am going to give it what it actually wants and needs, a chance to grow into a full-grown walnut tree. It needs help because where it is now won’t allow that, but with a little digging, I hope to get that tree out and make it a Hardin County tree.
That tree could either grow unencumbered for generations, or I could cut it down again and burn it. I know that digging it out will be a job, but I am not afraid of a little work, and I would love to give that tree the chance to grow.
The death or life of that tree is entirely in my hands, and even though it would be easier to just get rid of the nuisance tree, I am choosing to give it a chance. How many times in life do we have this very opportunity, and we take the easy way out rather than choosing life? That tree is only doing what it was designed to do. The only problem is it is doing it in an inconvenient place. Right now, it is covering the Nazarene Church’s sign (sorry Pastor Tim Smith). But with a little work, some TLC, and a father and son combo who both love trees, I want to give that tree a chance to grow.
Now, every time I go to visit my parents, I will get to see this tree and remember it is alive and growing because of a decision that I made. The moral to the story is there are many things in my life that the difference between life and death, or growth and decay, are the choices I make. That really gives you something to think about when you are considering a choice. The choice that leads to life is probably not going to be the easy one. Cutting that tree down would have certainly been the easier choice, but the choice that leads to life is rarely the easy one.
Also, even though the tree is going to Hardin County, I am naming it Rocky in honor of St Marys.