I tried to plant a tree yesterday…

I went outside looking for the best place to put it, and my eye caught a very sunny and slightly low spot in the yard.  It was literally the perfect place.

So I started digging this hole, and I dug until I hit something hard in the ground.  It was obviously wooden, so at first I mistook it for a root… until I realized that this wooden object spanned the entire bottom of the hole which I had dug (and beyond).  I had no idea how big it really was, or how far down it went, so I theorized about it for awhile and decided that it was either: a random wooden plank, an old historical item (like something colonial), or Noah’s Ark.

I consulted my dad about it when he came home, and after chopping at the thing with a hatchet he realized that it was actually a tree.  Before our house was constructed there must have been a big tree there which was cut down (and the landscapers didn’t remove the stump, probably because they knew that the area would be covered up with dirt to level off the yard).

So I couldn’t plant my tree because there was already a tree there under the surface… 

I feel like this is a profundity somehow…

(I did plant the tree though, beside the subterranean tree… and it really can’t be a coincidence that the only place in the yard that I dug a hole in was the one spot in the yard directly over an underground tree).

I can’t say for sure what this means, but it reminds me of a sermon that I heard from an American missionary in Thailand (he was visiting from HongKong).  He said that sometimes God won’t give us new things if we’re still holding onto the old things.  His example was Saul and David.  He said that the Hebrew people only thought Saul was a good king because they didn’t know that there was a David on the waywe hold really tightly to what we’ve got, because we underestimate what God will give us in the future.  But God’s plans for us are infinitely better than anything we would choose for ourselves, so you have to forfeit your Saul in order for God to give you a David.

For me (at the time) this idea applied directly to the fact that I no longer had a church home, and that I was torn over whether to return to the church I had left (which I was still holding onto) or to find a new church home (which I couldn’t imagine any great possibilities for).

Now I think this lesson (holding onto what’s past, because you’re afraid of the future) applies to every aspect of my life… job, living situation, friends, relationships, location, etc…

But I’m really not sure what specifically the old tree is that I’ve buried in the ground of my life, or what I’m trying to put in it’s place… so let me know if you have theories about it.


In the “Something to think and pray about this week” section of the Sacred Space website, they said something really interesting.

“Jesus’ image of the wheatgrain dying, then bearing fruit, symbolises not just our mortal life, but the many times we die a little before our death: with every parting, moving of house or job, loss of a friend or dear one, loss of property. Can I think of any experience of suffering and loss that has borne fruit because of God’s grace? How did it happen? To cling to what we have lost is to bury our life in the past. Even the most painful loss can be a new beginning. Lord, when I was suffering pain, and the loss of people and things I loved, I believe you were somehow present to me. Show me how you were.”


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