Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thoughtful About . . . Faith Like a Tumbleweed


A few weeks ago, I heard an analogy about the kind of life we should live; that we should be an oak tree, solid and tall, a pillar of the community, the kind of person people respect and will miss when we're gone, etc. That we shouldn't be a tumbleweed, aimless and despised and dismissed by everyone.

I got the point of the story. And I certainly love oak trees as much as the next person. But this analogy also bothered me. Maybe that's a fine image for the world, but for a Christian? I'm not so sure. Not that there's nothing to learn from an oak, but that we should dismiss tumbleweeds so quickly. I think . . .

I think that we need to be tumbleweeds when it comes to our faith.

In our homeschool science, we read about these plants, and they're pretty amazing. The tumbleweed bush can grow with very little water. The seeds can lie dormant until moisture comes, then bang! Up the plant sprouts. Quick, but also firmly rooted. The wind doesn't rip it from the ground. Oh, no. When it's time to reproduce, the tumbleweed, its seeds ripe and ready, breaks off from its roots. It's so light that the wind can take it anywhere. Everywhere. And it rolls around--but not aimlessly. It's spreading its seeds. Seeds which can lie dormant until that little bit of moisture touches it. Then bam. A new bush springs up.

How perfect an illustration is that of what Christians should be? Yes, we need to be firmly rooted in God--but not in one particular place. Our faith isn't tied to our geographical location, like a tree. Our goal shouldn't be just to reach ourselves toward heaven, right? Our purpose here isn't to stand strong and tall and thick, to drop our seeds right by our feet, where maybe one or two eventually grow a bit . . . if they're not gobbled up by the world or denied water and light by our shadows and thirsty roots.

Our purpose is to spread the Word. Spread those seeds of faith. Far and wide. Our goal is to go and make disciples. Our faith should be fast to spring up in Him, should be able to survive even the driest spells. And oh, if those seeds we planted could spring up so readily!

Now, I'm not saying there aren't lessons to be learned from an oak tree. Their nuts feed the forest creatures--that's important. And the cycle of acorn crops is pretty amazing too, the way they go through lean cycles to actually decrease the animal population that feeds on it, then produces a bumper crop that's way more than the animals can eat, so that some acorns have the chance to grow.

But oak saplings are easily choked out by other species.
May our faith not be like that.

Oak trees can't move.
May our faith not be like that.

It takes an oak 20 years to mature enough to produce acorns.
May our faith not be like that.

I say, let's give those things called weeds their due. Why are they called a weed?

Because they grow everywhere.
May our faith be like that.

Mankind can never get rid of them, because the seeds are so numerous and spring up so readily.
May our faith be like that.

Tumbleweeds break off from their roots to spread their seeds.
May our faith be like that.

They roll far and wide, spreading those seeds.
May our faith be like that.

They can flourish with the smallest bit of nourishment.
May our faith be like that.

It takes a single season for a tumbleweed plant to grow, reach maturity, and produce.
May our faith be like that.

Animals feed on tumbleweeds where no other plant can grow.
May our faith be like that.

When a tumbleweed breaks off, the dying of the original plant is the fuel for new life.
Our faith is founded on that.


I really pray that Christianity be what the world terms a weed--that we spring up everywhere. Quickly, incessantly. That we constantly get in the way of the ideals the world is trying to sew. That we are so numerous we cannot be counted. That we spread our seeds of faith far and wide, caring not about our selves, but about the message we're spreading. That we care little for where we are, so long as we're where He planted us.

There's beauty, yes, in that grand oak tree planted and fed by the water. There's beauty in the strong and sure, in the fact that such a huge tree can grow from a little seed. There's beauty in the scads of animals that eat of it and rest in its shade.

But don't dismiss the weed. The weed is vital to nature--it's just to man and his desire to control his environment that it's a nuisance. Exactly what Christianity should be.  Make me a dandelion, Lord. Make me milkweed. Made me a tumbleweed. I don't need man's praise and glory--I need only to spread Your word.

1 comment:

  1. Roseanna, I love this! I will forever "look" at Tumbleweeds far differently and my walk with the Lord!
    Blessings,Tina

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