I never thought a Christmas tree nearly falling could ever teach me so much about life:
You spend a long time perfecting a tree with ornaments. You make it LOOK absolutely beautiful. It shines with flashy lights and is covered in remnants of cool memories….each ornament typically represents something super special.
But the base was weak. The stand wasn’t enough. It also wasn’t tied down like it had been in the past.
So one day as more ornaments were being added, the tree just couldn’t take it anymore. It could no longer make it on its own with that cheap base. Nothing solid was holding it to a real foundation.
So it began to FALL. Thankfully, my mom caught it before it started to really come down. I heard the shriek from the other room and thought at first there had been a rat or something. I quickly jumped into action and ran into the living room. I came to find that the cause of the commotion was not an animal in the tree, but the whole tree itself that was leaning its way towards the ground.
All of the ornaments…so beautifully placed…were at risk. Dozens of memories were hanging in the balance. There was a big chance that everything that had been built into this incredible masterpiece was about to come crashing down in a heap.
So instinctively, we called dad out of his sleep to help us in this crisis.
Also, seeing the severity of the situation and the likelihood of this tree coming down, I begin taking off all of the most prized ornaments…the ones that could break…the ones that meant the most to our family. This included engagement ones, exotic vacation ones, and first Christmas ones. I only took what could not be replaced.
I think life overall is a lot like this scenario. We try to go it on our own without God’s foundation. We build and shape every second to be what we want it to be. We think our lives LOOK good….beautiful even. But we forget that it only takes one wrong move or push for the whole thing to be run into the ground…because the base is cracked. See, we are all broken inside somehow. We’ve got busted hearts desperate for anything to repair them. We use hollow things to do that though. Instead of doing the hard things to follow Jesus, we settle for the easy way out. We don’t like uncomfortable. So we instead decide to trust ourselves over God. For example, getting up under that tree to tie it down isn’t fun or comfortable. It’s a lot of hard work. A simple stand is easy…so we decided to trust it instead- “just this once”.
We forgot the fragility of a live Christmas tree- just like how we all tend to forget the fragility of a live human.
Think about how much we accessorize ourselves with things to make us look good to the world. Whether it be the parading around of expensive items, trips, or physical looks, we all tend to decorate ourselves with “ornaments”. We position them to appear like we’ve got life perfectly put together.
We try so hard to put on a front for others that we neglect the base that holds it all together. We forget God. We forget that He made us, loves us, and wants the BEST for us. Whenever we try to take the reigns of the life sleigh, it ultimately is going to be headed for the ground. However, if we would just let go of trying to control everything and let God take the reigns…we would be headed for Heaven- and maybe even touch the stars along the way.
But returning to the tree incident, know that when of all this insanity was happening, I realized two things:
- Regardless of the tree falling, I still had the people I loved….meaning that the tree falling would suck, but we would handle the sucky situation TOGETHER. There’s nothing better than that. There is growth in trial. I don’t doubt this.
- Ornaments are just ornaments. Yes, they look pretty. They really do. But in the end, they are just THINGS. Their disappearance would not change the historical significance or occurrence of what they represented. In the end, they are just a pile of plastic, wood, and metal. People are different. People are alive. People store more memories than an ornament ever could. Savor those in life- not ornaments made only for display.
Later I realized a third deeper thing about myself as I continued to reflect on the mini crisis:
- I realized I love better when I love God first. Not things. Loving things leaves me empty. Loving people makes me full. But even people can let you down. In fact, they do that a lot. It’s a little something called sin that likes to creep in. But God doesn’t let us down. So I find that trusting in God over a cheap base (an easy relationship just to have one, physical looks, lots of likes on pictures, follower ratios, good grades, etc.) creates a life worth living. A life worth living is one that doesn’t rely on worthless things, but a WORTHY Savior.
And that worthy Savior is the One we are really supposed to be celebrating this season right? He is the One we are to lean on for support. He is the ultimate “life stand” that CANNOT fail us. Rest in this truth as you enter the thick of the Christmas season. You are more than what your Instagram portrays you as….like how your Heavenly Father loves us MORE than we could ever imagine.
P.S: After a stressful half hour of emergency tree stabilization, our tree is still standing and all ornaments are safely intact! But I’ll forever be thankful it almost fell, because then this post would never have happened. It’s funny how messes can be beautifully useful in this life! God works in mysteriously purposeful and unexpected ways.