Shovel, axe, chain saw, high quality lopper, hedge clipper, sledge hammer, poison, salt, even fire. I would have used dynamite, too, but St. Joseph Township (and Diane) won’t allow dynamite (ladders either). So what am I doing?
Ponder that for a few minutes, meditate if you will. What is Chuck up to? Have you ever meditated for a long period of time? How long—without falling asleep? I was meditating on something for a few hours a day for several days last fall. Then again last spring. Now, once again, I find myself giving this same thing long periods of my time and contemplation. That’s a lot of thinking about just one item! And, as I said, it involves a shovel, axe, chain saw … no dynamite or ladders.
My first big project in retirement last fall was to extend our already very large backyard about 15 feet farther back towards the ravine by clearing brush, grapevines, old fence, and some trees. The toughest part of this task, and what I’ve been pondering each time I sit down for a breather, has been the roots. Brush, branches, even limbs and small tree trunks haven’t been the most difficult part of this project. But when you get down to a stump—well, that’s when you begin to realize what you haven’t yet seen that opposes your attack. Roots—this massive system beneath the surface that holds the tree or shrub in place.
Teachers, as you work with your kids in the classroom this year, consider that you are helping to establish roots—a strong spiritual root system in children. Your students are becoming rooted in God’s Word. And take it from me—a root system does not give up easily. The lopper and hedge trimmer take care of branches and brush without much trouble. Even the trunk isn’t too difficult with a chain saw. But those roots below ground….
After three days of working solely on one stump, today I managed to remove it—a stump that had one root which was almost a thick as the trunk. However, despite all the hacking I did on this tree last fall and spring, I had to clear shoots that grew from its stump over this past summer before I could resume work on it. While I may have won a battle, I still lost the war. A large root system still remains underground, and it will continue to send up shoots.
God bless your labors as you prepare His little children for Satan’s onslaught, enabling them to become strongly rooted in His Holy Word.
Photo (c) KevinCarden/Lightstock