An Old Oak Tree
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An Old Oak Tree

It was a wonderful old oak tree that no longer could bear up under an autumn storm. Crashing to the earth it revealed a hollow core. I remember hearing a sermon about a tree with a hollow core and the preacher made the analogy that if we are hollow inside we too will crash in life. I don’t want to make that analogy now for this was a noble old tree. While I was cutting it into pieces I discovered the remains of a squirrel’s nest. In its earlier years that old oak tree provided shelter and warmth from winter snows for God’s creatures to nestle safely inside its protective walls.

We all have our weaknesses. Some of us are unfortunate enough to have our flaws on the outside for all to see. Others, like the old oak tree, have their weaknesses on the inside. However, blessed is the person whose weaknesses can be used to benefit another. We all can’t be leaders. If we were who would be the followers? If there were no followers no one could be a leader.

Blessed is the person who realizes their limitations and fits well into the community by contributing what they have to give and getting out of the way of the gifts of others. The old oak tree was part of a community of hemlocks, maples, birches and pines. It was able to give shelter to squirrels that most likely buried thousands of acorns thus planting the next generation of oaks. It had much to give. No matter who we are we each have something to give.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 28, 2003
Spring of Life, 901 Signorelli Circle, St. Helena, CA 94574