We've all heard the saying, "He/She can't see the forest for the trees." This usually refers to someone who is so caught up in the details of things that he/she has lost sight of the big picture. Some years ago, I heard the story of a lady whose heart stopped pumping. Fortunately, a rescuer came along, performed CPR, and saved her life. Afterwards, however, this lady sued her rescuer for breaking several ribs while performing his life-saving work. Wow! Not only does this demonstrate a heart of ungratefulness, but it also fails to see the big picture...HE SAVED HER LIFE!!!!
Yet, how often do we as believers in Christ act similarly? We should be so grateful for the cross--for Christ dying that we might live--that our sole focus is to serve Him, serve others, and fulfill our Great Commission work. In the hustle and bustle of church life, our own pridefulness, and our desire to have things done our way, though, we sometimes take the focus off of disciple-making and give in to petty concerns. Who hasn't heard stories about church splits over the color of carpet or what flowers are displayed at Easter? Or what about the pastor's clothes...can you believe he wore THAT to church? Quick! Grab that tree!!!
Of course, when we wrap our arms around the many trees that present themselves in our lives and in our churches, we have a hard time seeing anything else. It's hard to see the world around you when your face is buried in bark! And, as everyone knows who's climbed a tree, bark hurts. It has a way of digging into your skin and rubbing your flesh raw. Such is life when we cling to our trees!
I say, therefore, "Let's cut down some trees!" Let's become Christ-filled loggers who fell those pesky, obscuring, flesh-sanding trees that block our view. Let's chop them down, buck them up, split them, and throw them into the fire. Then let's enjoy the beautiful forest that lies behind them with it's panoply of plush green oaks, furs, cedars, and cypress. And let's once again find the single tree that matters...the one fashioned into a cross and stained with blood.