It's been way more than 15-20 years since I've done this. This counts as a "first." I used to do this when I was about 9-12 years old at my grandparents' house near Liberty, Ms. Sometimes my cousin would climb up with me and we'd both ride one down with hopes that if one got off, the other would fling back up. That works a lot better on cartoons than it does in real life. I was not sure I could still shinny up a tree, but I made it. I also found that I did not have to climb near as high as I used to before the tree would lean over to the ground. I thought I may have heard the tree murmur something about grown-ups should know better than this.
Joel was my partner today. He thought this looked like fun and he gave it a try. He's not nearly as heavy as me and it's a bit harder for him to ride one down. From what I remember, it's a lot more fun at his age as well. We had fun doing this "first."
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can
Look out below
Joel gets higher than I do
Me on Joel's tree, we thought it would go a different way and Joel was close to getting landed on
It was pretty fun and I did ride both trees all the down. If I do this again (and I'm making no promises) I will pick bigger trees. These poor trees did not bounce back at all; no more riding them.
As I thought about that I realized that once I've ridden one of these trees down, it's time to get off. They have served that purpose and can't really do it anymore. These 2 trees bent till they pretty much can't pop back to their original status. In fact, they are pretty close to laying on the ground. I thought about how this relates to those who follow Jesus. Sometimes in a person's life, God uses something to help us for a season and then it's time to move along; grow up. It's time to quit riding something that has outlived its purpose. For example, if you are still saying "God is good, God is great" as a way of thanking God for your food and you are 34, it's probably time to move on to something a bit more meaningful. If you are a man who has children that are 4 years old and up and your wife is still doing the praying and teaching God's word to the children, it is time to grow up some and do some of that yourself. If you go to church simply to see your friends and if the sermon is going to be interesting, it is time to move along and ask what God is saying to you and how you should obey.
We do this in church sometimes. Maybe there is some sort of program or way of doing things that used to be very meaningful but is not anymore. It may be time for the church to discard that program and to grow and move on. I have a friend of mine that says if he's riding a horse that dies, he gets off. If the church is riding some horse (using some program or way of doing things) that has outlived its purpose, it's time to get off and find what God wants to do today. We must continually ask, "What is the best way to glorify God today? What can we do to help people get to love Jesus and each other better today?" Let's not simply do what we've always done, but press on to know and love Jesus better.
Pressing on in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
2. Our dog and cat are playing together (I was afraid the dog might eat the cat)
3. God's mercies are new every morning- Lamentations 3:22-23.