This past summer my hubby planted a new tree in our backyard. As the days passed by, it dutifully minded its own business and blended in with the other greens so well that I didn’t even notice it much. But this month it made its debut. Seemingly overnight I had a gorgeous, bright orange beauty screaming at my peripheral vision: “Look at me! Look at me!”
Whether it was when my hands were immersed in a sink full of soapy dishes, carrying a basketful of dirties to the washing machine, or rummaging through the bottom of an Oreo sack, my attention kept being directed to the beautiful leaves of our little orange-colored tree. My first thought was, Wow! What a stunning, eye-catching tree. But that thought was consistently followed up with, It’s going to be magnificent in about ten years.
I could just picture it with a massive trunk and branches towering over our yard. I wondered if we would still live here to see it in all of its glory. Would it become etched in my grandchildren’s memories as the huge tree at Mimi and Pop’s house? After about three days of hitching a ride on this same train of thought, it abruptly came to a screeching halt with the realization that each and every time I noticed the tree, I immediately visualized how it could be better. Its tiny trunk was a good start, but the gorgeous foliage in all its splendor was quickly dismissed with thoughts of, Please . . . is that all you got? and Oh yeah, I see you, but I want more!
This realization of my thought pattern has caused me to examine my heart. I have been searching for areas in my life that I may have this same “skip over appreciating small beginnings and only imagine what could be in the future” attitude.
How about you? Got any little orange trees that are absolutely praiseworthy in your life but you immediately ignore them, wishing they were bigger? I hear mothers lugging their weighty, diaper-clad babies, longing for the day they will walk and be potty trained. Can I celebrate with you that your baby boy has gone from scooting to crawling? Or how about the young accountant having to do the simple day-in and day-out, seemingly menial job before the big promotion. I send you congratulations on your college graduation and the mastering of your first job.
Sometimes it’s not just our circumstances that we want a quicker advancement in, but it can often be our own growth that we minimize. Look how far you have come! Your heavenly father is proud of your progress. Today let’s enjoy the fabulous orange foliage in our proverbial trees. Great things are ahead, but little things are stunning too.
Yay you! Yay me! We’ve got some fantastic trees.
Zechariah 4:10—Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.