Inspiration for the New Year

January 2010.

Click here for d365 daily devotional

The following excerpt touched me enough write a reflection, which follows.  After working through the devotional offering for 1/12/2009 (on d365, above), Thinking about what fears I have going into this next year, I still believe that in giving them all up to God, we must also match our prayerful leaning and lifting with a physical activity so that our bodies also take part in the prayers of our hearts and minds.  Perhaps, in responding to this devotion on tree planting, you will be inspired to also give your fears to God, and embrace the new year and whatever it may bring.  For me, I pray it may be so.  Amen.

It’s Never Too Late

Spiritual Reflections

by Ed Hays on Dec. 31, 2009

A new year should breed dreams. Psychologist Sheelagh Manheim writes about her father who in 1938 at the age of seventy-four fell deathly ill with bronchitis. Burdened with financial problems from the Great Depression, he nevertheless went out and planted a row of redwood trees.

He told his grandson that he would live to see them grow tall. Ten years later he had recovered his financial losses. He died in peace having seen his redwood trees grown tall. Regardless of your age, health, or financial status, as you read this reflection know you are not too old or sick to plant a future. Not to plant or plan is to bring the curtain down on the play of your life, since without dreams and visions, tomorrow you are either already dead or dying. Being dream-dead is like being brain-dead, it is a near-life state where the body continues its routine functions, but isn’t truly alive. We humans are disposed to have visions for tomorrow as part of the natural unfolding of our latent embryonic possibilities. At every age, creation’s spirit says, “You’re not finished yet. Don’t stop growing.” Today, if you lack the space to plant a tree, then plant a dream. Plan for something that you like to do; most importantly, be.

Help me disregard my limitations,
shake off the inertia of aging,
and plant seeds of new tomorrows,
fertilizing them with enthusiasm.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Reflection on “It’s Never Too Late”

I have often wondered how I might enact more in my life such that “the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.”  One way to do so is to plant trees.  My grandfather was a forester.  he planted more trees in his life than I have seen in my lifetime.  Even as a boy when I would go and spend vacations in his greenhouse planting seedlings in little boxes or weeding out from under trees on the Riverplace, I knew it was a special thing to be a tree-planter.  Now, with all that I have learned about how trees impact the earth’s atmosphere and protect us from our own pollutions, I begin to understand even more how special that is.  My uncle still plants trees in memory of his father.  He will probably continue to plant trees all the rest of his days.  My cousin, his daughter, is just now beginning to bloom into her adolescence.  My prayer for her is that she will come to love the trees as much as her father and our grandfather, and that she will soon begin to plant her own.

Planting trees is an activity that brings life to the earth that outlasts us.  What a metaphor for life’s lessons!  This metaphor, this gift, can be multiplied even more when we watch forests of peace growing and spreading out from one to another, connecting one to another; when we take part, we know that we have made the world a better place.

Metaphor.  Not only is the physical act of planting trees a gift to God and a gift to the Earth, but it is a gift, also, that connects us to our own spiritual life.  Planting spiritual redwoods as well as physical ones is a challenge and a joy.  We, who are week, yet impact the world for good with every seedling we plant, every prayer we dream.  May it be so.

~ Scottrick

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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