Someone has to plant the big tree

January 29, 2020

We were at our friends’ house this last weekend, and they were telling the story of two trees they planted — one in the back yard and one in the front. They agree that they chose well for one of the trees and chose poorly for the other, but they disagree on which is which.

The one in the back yard has grown quickly; it’s tall and leafy and pretty to look at. The one in the front yard more or less looks like a stick in the ground. Both trees have been there for the same amount of time. But in a few decades, that front yard tree will be a massive fixture — the kind of tree that people buy a house for — whereas the back yard tree will still be tall and leafy and pretty but, it seems, mostly the same as it is now.

I was still thinking about this a couple days later while I was praying, and I felt like God imprinted a phrase on my mind: Someone has to plant the big tree.

Right now, my life has a lot more of those front-yard trees. I want some tall, leafy, pretty trees for everyone to see, but mine look like sticks in the ground. They’re slow and they look small. And I don’t do slow (or small) well.

But in the end, slow doesn’t mean small. And someone has to plant the big tree.