I MADE THE MISTAKE of planting a pin oak tree in the front yard of my first house.
It was a mistake for two reasons.
- Acorns. Who wants nuts on their front lawn? We’ve already got them inside the house.
- Leaves. All year long.
They don’t fall off.
They just hang around like a bad habit, uglying up the place.
That’s one of the characteristics of young pin oak trees—when the tree stretches no higher than about 20 feet (6 meters).
There’s only one way for the tree to get rid of a dead leaf:
Pop it off with new growth.
The bud of a new leaf needs to dislodge it just in time for the spring winds to blow it into my neighbor’s yard.
From time to time, I think we’ve all got that pin oak thing going on in our spiritual lives.
We’ve got a bug-chomped attitude about someone we’d rather drop-kick in the face than forgive.
We’ve got a habit hanging around, uglying up our personal space.
We’ve got a job that makes us feel like we’re dying the slow death of tree.
Hear the lesson of the pin oak tree:
Some things never change until we change some other things.
Feeding out-of-work inner-city folks on a Saturday afternoon every few months just might make us feel differently about our job.
Picking up a new and healthy habit might leave so little time or interest for the bad habit that it drops off like a pin oak leaf in springtime.
Spending time helping people who need to be around someone who cares about them might open our eyes to why the Jerk in our face is a jerk in our face.
May we learn the lesson of the pin oak tree.
Bring on the springtime.