Tonight I read one of my favorite childhood fairy tales to the youngest kids. If you’re not familiar with the story, I’ll give you the short version. A beautiful fir tree is growing in the forest. Though he is lovely and surrounded by the wind, the sun, the birds and more, he longs to be taller. He notices that other trees are being chopped down and he, too, longs to leave the forest. The birds tell him of the beautiful decorations that are put on some trees taken into homes and it is the tree’s dream to be glorified this way. One winter season, he is cut down and taken away. For the first time, he feels a little sad about leaving his forest friends. But when he experiences the excitement of the lights and decorations on his branches and the children dancing around him, he feels he has never been happier.
The next day the tree imagines he will be the center of attention once again. He is sure life will be even better! But alas, he is shoved into an attic for months. Still, he believes that he will one day return to the forest. When he is pulled from the attic and taken to the garden, he is certain his life is starting over. Instead, he is set on fire.
Yes, this is a depressing tale for a child! Kind of like Bambi’s mother being shot, isn’t it? I must admit I never got the deeper message of the story as a child, but tonight I got it loud and clear. I’m done wishing to be taller, but I still catch myself believing that life will be better for me the next season. I feel stuck instead of acknowledging how I’m growing. I live for the moments of glory, rather than glorying in the moments. I need to be like the apostle Paul, content to be rooted in Christ.