I know all of us have, at one point in our lives, sat in the shade of a large tree. The canopy of branches granting us reprieve from the heat of the sun on a warm summer day. You can picture it, can’t you? But have you ever wondered , who planted this tree?
Well, A few weeks ago I took a walk around Centennial park here in Nashville and the trees are gorgeous. They are huge and the size of the trunks indicate they have been here for a long time. As we were reading the tourist signs that dot the walking path, we learned that many of the trees were planted over 100 years ago while the city prepared to host the Centennial Exposition of 1897. WOW, to think the efforts made so long ago were personally blessing me today. The shade these trees offer is incredible and it sets the back drop for all the beautiful gardens that are able to grow in the park today.
I want to share a quote with you that I saw yesterday while skimming an article in the Wall Street Journal and it made me think of those big trees, about leadership, about legacy. It is a quote by Warren Buffet and it says this…
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago!”
Those words have deep meaning. It is the investment we are making now that will have long lasting affects on those we might never even know in the future. It made me think about my family, specifically my kids. What am I doing now that could have a positive impact on them, on their future families? My grandchildren or great – grandchildren – We all will leave a legacy, it is up to us what that will be.
I also think about this in my role as a leader. What am I doing today that could help others in our organization thrive in the future. How is my relationship with God? The relationship that guides all others, am I investing well in it so that my faith is shared and others find their faith in God strengthened too? These are eternal matters, the type of investment that will still be giving shade long after I am gone.
I want to encourage you today to keep investing in yourself, your relationship with the Lord and in your relationships with family, friends and your work. That kind of positive investment will sure to yield benefits for years to come. Your tree that is planted today will most definitely be the shade someone else is thankful for in the future. Invest well!
As I was filling my car up with gas the other day I noticed the young girl across from me, it was hard not to since she was wearing a bright colored t-shirt with a large peace symbol on the front and she was singing and dancing. The gentleman next to me looked at her then looked at me and then just shook his head and outloud said,”Peace in this world, I don’t think so”. That of course got me thinking. Why is it so hard to have peace? I’m not just talking about world peace, I am talking about inner peace.
Do you worry? I do. I have to work on this each day. I always say I am going to trust God and give all my care and worries over to Him and then I find myself taking it all back and feeling like it is my job to “fix it”, not only for myself but for all the people I love in my life and even for strangers sometimes. That certainly is not a peaceful way to live.
The opposite of peace is anxiety. We usually experience anxiety when we are uncertain about our future, concerned about meeting our needs or the needs of our loved ones, or when we are faced with danger or overwhelming circumstances. We allow those worries to eat away at us, robbing us of joy and peace. It is when we rely on our own strength that we fail to trust God to carry us through. I’m not sure why we continue to think we can solve our issues or those of others through our human weakness when God gives us the opportunity to rely on His divine strength.
Isaiah 26:3 says ” You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I think about how important it is to truly keep our minds focused on God because when we do, we find that peace. When we read scripture we find it stated over and over again God’s faithfulness and His understanding. My encouragement to you this week is to continue to read God’s word each day so that you focus on God’s faithfulness and His promises. I recently also started a “Blessings Journal” where I write down all the little things I am thankful for. Already I can see how God works in the smallest details of my life so I am sure He has the big issues covered as well. It is a daily reminder to focus on Him.
To really trust God means to believe that He can see into the future and nothing will take Him by surprise. To believe He knows our every need and will provide. To believe that His power is greater than any danger or circumstance we could ever face. At our first hint of worry or trouble let’s flee to God. Psalm 29:11 promises us that He will give us strength and He will bless us with peace. If we all focused more on those promises, maybe more of us would be dancing through our days !