Standing at the base of a Giant Sequoia tree on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California inspires wonder and awe. A couple thoughts might naturally occur to an observer marveling at this majestic tree:
“I am a very tiny person.”
“My God is not.”
The Giant Sequoia, with a diameter of 20-26 feet (on average) is the world’s largest tree AND largest living THING by volume. Some have been in existence for 3500 years which makes the Sequoia among the oldest living things on earth. Based on my first blog in this series, we can safely assume that the Sequoia’s root system is the creme de la creme. These trees are GROUNDED. They are ESTABLISHED.
One thing I only recently discovered about these beautiful trees is that, as their roots grow DOWN, they also spread OUT. Simply put, they stretch until they can touch the roots of another Sequoia. And when the two meet, they begin to twist and wrap around one another so that when trouble blows in, their roots can sustain them - not only because they are DEEP but also because they are JOINED TOGETHER in a beautifully interconnected grove.
There is a compelling application for our lives here:
The Sequoia tree does not survive in isolation…and neither can we.
Similar to the Oak, the strength of the Sequoia lies beneath the ground where its roots are established in soil that nourishes. But, UNLIKE the Oak, the Sequoia has an interdependent nature. This unique quality has enabled it surpass the Oak in all aspects - strength, size and longevity. It THRIVES because of the grove.
We were created to thrive in community too. Not as uber-independent, fully self-reliant SILOS. SO, if you’ve felt blown and tossed by the wind lately…if you’re weary, lonely, irritable or simply at the end of your rope, I want to ask you a question:
How are you responding to the OVERWHELM?
White knuckling it through your days striving to appear like you’ve got it all together?
Refusing to ask for help because you’re afraid people will think you’re needy?
Saying “Fine, thank you!” because another response might make you look weak?
Putting your head down until the storm passes?
If you found yourself nodding your head to the statements above, I wish I could sit next to youon my porch. We’d have a cup of tea (since it’s getting chilly) and our kids could play in the fort out back. I’d see the look on your face and, because I know how MY heart feels when I have that look, I’d turn toward you and probably put my hand on your knee (because I’m not great with personal space.) And, while our kids play together in the yard I might share something like, “I’m having a tough time too. Sometimes I’m worried I’m not doing this mom thing right. Sometimes I lose my temper and I feel so ashamed. Some days, I can’t keep my eyes open past 8pm. Do you feel that way?”
You might tear up. Then I would too (because I’m like that) and then I’d say, “Oh I’m SO GLAD it’s not just me. Let’s have tea together again. I find so much more joy as a mom when I’m shoulder to shoulder with another one.”
We weren’t intended to be self-sufficient. We were made to stretch out our roots until we find another tree…rooted in the grove.