Roger Bothwell | Our Fallen Elm
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Our Fallen Elm

There is a great tree in my yard that towered over all others.  Now it lies upon its side waiting for the chainsaw to cut it into small pieces for my woodstove.  As it brought us days of shade and cool now it will bring us days of warmth and then it will be gone.  As I gaze upon its length my thoughts turn to Solomon’s frame of thought in Ecclesiastics. Everything no matter how noble or ignoble ends up in the same place.  All great things come down.  It is only a matter of time.  Whether one is a great corporate executive or the one who cleaned his office at three in the morning, the end is the same.  He wrote, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” He also said, “A living dog is better than a dead lion.”  Perhaps.  It all depends upon whether or not the dog is suffering.   All in all this is a pretty morose line of thought bordering upon a pessimism that would herald, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

Jesus certainly would not countenance such despair.  His message was one of promise that there is more after this.  He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  And Paul wrote, “If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.”  Too bad Solomon didn’t know Jesus. Hooray that we do!

Written by Roger Bothwell on December 19, 2008

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574