We recently had a huge storm push through our part of the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. While it was not as severe as the storms that came through almost a full year ago - which brought multiple tornadoes and extensive damage - it was still a damaging windstorm. It was also a bit scary - it passed through at 2 o'clock in the morning!
As a result of this recent storm, I ended up with a large pine tree down in my yard, blocking my rear driveway. It was no big deal since we could just drive around it to get out. But it still needed to be cut up and dealt with properly. It took only 15 minutes to saw this 40 foot tree into manageable pieces, and then a couple of hours to burn up all evidence that it ever even existed. In less time than it takes to watch the original Star Wars trilogy, almost all reminders of this tree's existence disappeared.
As I watched the last remnants burn, several thoughts went through my head about leaders and about how they related to this tree.
- Even though this tree appeared healthy, once the winds laid it down on the ground, you could actually see that termites had caused extensive damage to the trunk a while ago. The core of the pine, at its base, had been completely hollowed out. Looks can be deceiving - what's inside you (good or bad) will eventually come out.
- It was that three feet of termite damage that completely weakened this large and heavy tree, causing it to come tumbling down. Are you properly centered and secure?
- That tree was over 25-years-old. It took 9,125 days, plus or minus a couple, to get to that height and thickness. Then, in less than a double-header baseball game, its shadow was erased. At some point, after our lives here on earth have passed, we, as individuals, will just be a distant memory. What are we doing today to leave a lasting legacy for others to share in our inheritance? And by inheritance, I mean, are you going to heaven for eternity? And who is coming with you because of the impact you had on their life?
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.