Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Tree

This morning I was blessed to have another early morning conversation with Joe. Actually, we have them quite often but today's touched my heart. After rambling on for about 10 minutes he said "Mom you remember that book that makes me cry every time I read it?" Half asleep I said "what's it about?" he quickly said, "you know the one about the boy and the tree that makes me cry at the end." I asked Joe " why does it make you so sad?" and he replied, "because the boy just takes and takes...until the tree has nothing left to give, he's mean..he uses the tree."

Joe is talking about the book The Giving Tree by, Shel Silverstein. The story is a short moral tale about a relationship between a young boy and a tree in a forest. The tree and the boy become best friends. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches to swing from, shade to sit under, apples to snack on, branches to build a house. As the boy grows older and older he requires more and more of the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, the tree lets the boy cut her down so the boy can build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree, now a stump. Many years later, the boy, now an old man, returns and the tree says, "I have nothing left to give you." The boy replies that all he needs is a quiet place to sit and rest. The tree happily obliges.

This books always reminds me of my walk with God. I have the tendency to want to ask for things and take, take, take. Except, with God he always has more to give unlike, the tree. But rather than just take we are here to give as well. When we spend time focusing on our needs and our wants we often become miserable. I admit that I love new things!! But I love giving as well. I don't do it nearly as much as I should! When the boys were 4 and 2 we did Meals on Wheels one summer. I think they, no wait We.. learned more about giving that summer than any other time. I can come up with a million excuses as to why I am not better about giving of myself.... but I need to learn to be more like the tree.

Acts 20:35
"In every way I showed you that by working hard like this we should help the weak and remember the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Luke 6:38
"Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap, because you will be evaluated by the same standard with which you evaluate others."



Shmily said...

I love my kids. I love my wife. I'm with Joe, that book is a downer. Shel should have stuck with sidewalk stories. I wish I could have been home to hear Joe's deep thoughts. Those make me smile inside. See you this evening.

boltefamily said...

WOW! So true! Thanks for sharing this story!