I've done a bit of raking up leaves this fall. Like, a TON of leaves. So. Many. Leaves.
Anyway, as I meditatively rake and think deep thoughts, that's sometimes when God gives me direction or inspiration. This week, as I noticed the small branches that had fallen to the ground, I asked myself...
If I were a tree, what are the things in my life that need to be broken off to make room for new growth?
Perhaps it's because we're getting closer to New Years Day.
I'm reminded that the Bible uses a tree to illustrate us more than once.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. ~ Psalm 1:1-3
So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. ~ Matthew 7:17-19
I want to bear good fruit. I want to be planted by streams of living water. I also recognize that there are things I can do in that, and things I can't. I can meditate on His law day and night and become like a tree planted by streams of water. However, I can't grit my teeth and grow new branches. Even trimming off branches that have become rotten or broken can be difficult. I need the Master Gardener.
That said, I can assist. I can ask God to prune me. To shape me in a way that will produce good fruit. I think it's probably less painful if the tree voluntarily drops the dead stuff rather than requiring a saw to cut it off.
I was talking to a friend recently and he talked about Eisenhower's Principle. It's more task or time-oriented, but it's a big help in identifying some of the things that take your time that you can let go of.
With all that in mind, what kind of branches might be keeping you from new growth? What can you let go of to make room for something better?