Acorns and oaks
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
While they moved on, I stayed there focused on a single spoken metaphor.
About 30 men meet in the “Hangar” behind the church on Wednesday nights. It’s a metal structure with a concrete floor, tin roof, a refrigerator, a few wild game heads hanging on the camoflage decorated walls, and a giant American flag.
I like going to the Hangar. We pray for each other; Come to understand that our struggles as men aren’t just cosmic calamity. We’re all challenged, coming off of a challenge, or about to be challenged. That’s the Christian life after all.
Last week an old country preacher talked about praise and worship. He was a short man. Perhaps a little shorter even than me. He was round, and waved his arms as he spoke, occasionally scooted across the floor in a strut like a gray haired Rick Flair.
He said “But watch this” a lot. And “God, I’m not sure they heard me.” Then he’d say it again. He smiled each time.
He spoke in simple terms and I lingered in the prosaic imagery. I’ve always been that way – sometimes to a fault. Stuck on a paragraph, a sentence, sometimes a single word.
“Sometimes we pray for an oak tree, but God gives us an acorn,” he said. “The power of the oak tree rests within the acorn if we nurture it.”
He said it like “aykern”.
It wasn’t an original thought. Someone said it first, but I can’t recall who.
The oak tree.
Then the acorn.
The hundreds of them in my yard as a child. The hundreds of them that surrounded me in my every moment along the road. Every time I was unhappy our discontent.
I hated acorns. Or at least, was indifferent to them I think.
Sometimes I would step on them – tender childhood feet, those sharp tipped acorns. I hopped on one foot then threw them into the road, across the street, at the brick of the house. Watch them break open. Watch the squirrels in our yard eat them.
While old oaks dropped acorns on our roof. Under my feet. By the hundreds.
God doesn’t plant oak trees. He drops acorns. He gives you what you need to grow them and then allows you to nurture them while praising Him.
Ask for oaks. Recognize them when they fall at your feet.
I love you,
Sat: Rode 31 miles
Sun: Ran 8 miles