I don’t know very much about trees. I can identify a Weeping Willow and I call Christmas trees Evergreens. Since moving to Colorado I have learned how to spot an Aspen, but that is pretty much the extent of my tree resume. There is a large tree in my back yard. I don’t really make it a point to do so, but I can easily get lost staring at it–especially at night. There’s just something about trees that deeply inspires me and honestly makes me a little jealous.
I learned a prayer a few months ago. It slowly breaks down the phrase, “Be still and know that I am God.” You break the phrase down until you get to the simple prayer, “Be.” It’s incredibly centering and reminds us that simply “Be-ing” is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and the world around us.
When I pray this prayer, I always picture a tree when I say the last, “Be”. My admiration and jealousy comes out of the realization that trees have perfected the art of just being. Some might argue that this is because they can’t walk around or do much to change their circumstances. They are literally stuck. Well, to them I say…that’s true, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing I had the “Be-Ability” of a tree. I can get so wrapped up in those external things that really have nothing to do with being–success, failure, image, how many people like me, how many people read this blog. It’s far too easy for me to forget how to be.
The tree in my back yard serves as a symbol of wholeness. It serves as a reminder that who I am is all I can be. Try as I might, I can’t be who anybody needs me to be. I can only be who I am. It also serves as a reminder that you can’t be who I need you to be–ego strokers are always appreciated. You can only be who you are. Trees don’t apologize for not being what we might want them to be. They have perfected the art of just being.
The amazing thing is that, in the act of simply being, trees do exactly what God created them to do. They give our world clean air. They provide wind breaks. They prevent mud-slides. They give kids hours of fun everyday. The idea of not being able to be something I’m not can at first seem rather depressing and even counterproductive. But I believe that, just like the trees, when we are okay with just being who we already are, we will be exactly the gift to this world that God created us to be. My desire to allow that Image of God-ness to shine through my garbage of an exterior is why I like to stare at trees. It’s why I’m sometimes jealous of them and it’s why I am often inspired by them.
Be Still and Know That I am God
Be Still and Know That I am
Be Still and Know