lyef & thymes

Friday, August 19, 2005

New horizons 2.0 (tale of the tree)

A little under a year ago I wrote my first post, entitled "New Horizons". I was starting a new job, and a new era in my life, and blogging came along at just the right time to start documenting how that all worked out in my life.

This post marks yet another new era. Twenty-six summers have come along in my lifetime. Twenty-six years of slow change and inch by inch, branch by branch the tree grows. When I was four years old my grandfather planted a spruce tree in my yard and declared that it was MY tree. My sister has one, and each of my cousins. Every grandchild of his has a tree. For a time I was taller than my tree, but not any more. It looms over me now, despite the fact that I nearly killed it with a ride-on mower years ago. It recovered, and never complained.

I think that the tree speaks to me now. In the beginning the world existed to serve me. When I was hungry, it provided food. When I was tired, the sun conveniently set making a cool, quiet, dimly lit place for me to rest. I was bigger than the tree, and I was the centre of my own world. I was bigger than my tree. Today things are a bit different. I am growing up as a man, learning, existing, and my world is what it is, and I am in it. But the tree has grown much more than the man.

By this I mean to say that today I am much larger than the sum of my parts. My impact in the world is much greater than I know. I am no longer larger than my tree, but my tree is larger than me. In some ways it is humbling to know that my world does not exist to serve me, as though I were the greater, it the lesser, but that I actually have something to offer, and from a position where I am NOT the centre of it all.

When Jesus likened the kingdom of God to a seed, he referred to how eventually it becomes a large plant, and the birds of the air come and rest in it's branches.
I would like to be known as a guy who brings rest to people. Not that I would PUT people to rest, but rather that when they need a break, or some friendship, or anything of the like, that I might be like that tree.

And I think that everyone has this capacity in some ways. My friend Dan is amazing at engendering excitement about things. I once came to Dan and complained about my job and he had numerous suggestions about how to make it more interesting. My friend Pete offers great advice about how to learn more about something. I once came to him asking about a theological issue, and he led me to three books I could read if I wanted to know more. He later confessed that he was just being lazy, and didn't want to think about it himself at that time.

So my tree grows taller and taller, even when I am not around to watch it. And in theory, birds flock to it when they want somewhere to land. If I went to my grandfather's house today, I would see that tree, and would likely be surprised at how big it was. Unlike people, trees continue to grow taller, and to grow more branches, for their entire lives.

So while I may not grow any taller for the rest of my days, my tree, planted in my grandfather's yard, will continue to reach up, up, up.


At 1:29 p.m., Anonymous Lisa said...

That's a beautiful image.. kinda makes me want to cry.. good cry of course =)

At 1:50 p.m., Blogger beth said...

You may not grow taller, but you will see more and more fruit in and around you, Jacob Murphy!
Beautiful. That tree thing is a cool idea...
see you in T dot soon time homey.

At 2:36 p.m., Blogger Sgt Steve said...

dude that post rocks!! I love thought-filled stories like that, sigh. Thanks for letting me sit on our branches, you mean a lot to me Jake. And what, oh yes, I will see you TONIGHT!! waaahoooo!!

At 10:20 a.m., Blogger Andrew G said...

my friend,
you've impacted many lives... keep on digging in to all he has for you buddy

At 8:45 a.m., Blogger Jonathan said...

And just as your tree's branches can spreader wider and wider, so might your stomach :)


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