Removing The Branches

Each week since I’ve been back I have had the fun of getting on the tractor lawnmower and away I go!  I love being in the open countryside, the sun at my back, the wind in my face, the slap of branches in my face.  Oh wait, no, not that part.

Pecans are already clinging to the branches of our trees; looks like it will be another bumper-crop year.  It’s the weight of the pecans that are causing several branches to drop lower and lower towards the ground.  Each time I have to drive the lawnmower under the branches, I get thwacked in the face and on the head.  Every time!  After five weeks of this unceremonious thwacking of the head, it dawned on me – why don’t I trim the branches?  Wow!  Thunder bolts of ingenuity!

I get the proper tools and snip, crunch, snap, the offending branches are gone.  I gaze up at the tree and realize how much better the tree looks.  The branches were too heavy.  They were not doing the tree any good, no doubt would have broken the whole limb at some point and, of course, the continual thwacking did not bless me either.

I couldn’t help but see a spiritual lesson in these nuisance branches.  Every week I saw them and every week I just put up with them.  I could have removed them at any time but it never occurred to me until the face thwacking became too painful to endure.  How many nuisance branches do each one of us put up with in our daily lives?  There are all sorts of branches: branches of envy and strife, jealousy and hatred, laziness and irresponsibility, lying and gossip, forgetting about God in our lives and paying more attention to what the world has to offer, self loathing and loathing others too – the list goes on and on and on.  Everybody grows unhelpful branches.  Here’s hoping we can remember to do some regular pruning.  Either that or ouch! more face thwacking in all of our futures.