On a trip through the Great Smoky Mountains I encountered this tree that had grown on some rocks in a river. Although this tree has been dead for some years now it still tells a story. It reminded me of the words one Pastor I know is fond of saying and that is “grow where you are planted.”
This tree certainly had done exactly that. The roots of this tree were firmly imbedded in the rocks where it was planted. The roots were thick and far-spreading which allowed the tree to stay in place during the inevitable floods it encountered during its life cycle. I don’t know how tall this tree may have been or how old it lived to be. I do not know if it was a lovely tree or one marked by scars of a harsh environment. I do know that even in its death a visual reminder of strength and endurance remains.
In just a few days I will be transplanted to a new home in Iowa. I came to Illinois almost thirty years ago with less than five dollars and all my belongings in a suit case. I was a wayward high school drop out from Texas that came to the Chicago area in search of work. It was my full intention to go back to Texas within a year. Like that tree washed up on the rocks either as a sapling or seed, I found myself planted where I landed.
There are many memories of living in the suburbs of Chicago that haven’t been pleasant. At the same time I would not be the same man without them. Somehow, against the odds, my life has taken root in the rock Jesus Christ and that has allowed me to stand firm in my faith as the floods of change threatened to carry me away. I suppose there are some noticeable scarring from life storms that I carry. That isn’t uncommon, in fact, it makes us all unique and beautiful in some special way. The best anyone can hope for in this world is to live a life that leaves a legacy for years after to inspire others to stand firm in Christ. That is what I want. How about you?
I have decided to make this my final post for this site. I may start a new blog to chronicle a new life. For now, thank you for following this blog. My prayer is that somehow you have found comfort or at least a nugget of wisdom in something that was written in the posts. When the time to renew this site comes up in a few months I will let it lapse into whatever happens to unpaid blog sites.
God Bless you and thanks for reading!
Rev. Burt Schwab