As I drive around town I notice more and more pruned trees. I sit at a stop sign watching a threesome of men sawing off the heavy branches and then piling them on a trailer to haul off. Memories of my dad, brother, and grandpa pruning my grandma’s trees come to mind. My grandma always hated to see the grand, lovely branches come off leaving the tree gloomily bare. I understood her sadness. I also didn’t like to see the beauty taken away from the tree. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized pruning was necessary. By the end of summer the life always came back to the tree and new vibrant growth replaced the baldness. In a year or two the tree would be just as beautiful, if not more so than it once was. The new growth, however, was now wind resistant, while the old branches were in jeopardy of coming crashing down.
Spring is coming. A time for new life. The perfect time to prune off old, dangerous or harmful parts of our spiritual “trees”. Rather it be our egos, our pride, our self sabotaging behaviors, or maybe our distrust. We must shed the weight before we come crashing down. I can not tell you what from your own tree needs eradicating, but I have a feeling you already know. However, like with my grandma, it isn’t always easy to see the branches go. They have become a part of you, just as my grandma’s trees had become her friends as she would sit out on the porch admiring them. In this instance, it is smart to dream about who you want to be a year from now, or even two years. Do you want to still be carrying the extra spiritual or, maybe, emotional weight? Do you want to be headed onto a collision course? Or are you ready to let some of these heavy branches of yourself go and grow some new stronger branches full of God and self nourishment? Then decorate them with shiny vibrant leaves of healthy behaviors. To me, this is the exciting part. I receive joy in my heart when I am rooted in my faith and my growth plan is to better myself. To love myself, just as Jesus loves me.
When Jesus resurrected in spring time, I believe it was not on accident. Spring is when the nature’s babies for the most part take their first breath of life. Spring is when the dead season ends and the season of new sprouts spreads across the land. As Jesus resurrected, he knew he was giving new life to his people. I will not take that for granted. I will keep myself pruned back in the spring and grow towards his bright light year around.
Today take out a notebook and write down some of your heaviest branches. Then make a plan to saw them loose and haul them off to where they can never find you again. Then write down where you want to grow and what vibrant leaves of healthy behaviors do you plan to decorate with.
Happy Spring (forth from the womb, ground, and tomb)!