About three and a half years ago our family made one of those life decisions that set us on a much different course than we could have anticipated previously. We sold our house in Chattanooga and moved to the Ocoee area of Southeast Tennessee. It is a beautiful place and I have said about the area, I think God was practicing for making heaven when he designed it. We have several acres and ever since we moved there I have often wondered if there is something I could do to use the land in a productive manner. One idea I’ve considered for some time is to plant a plot of Christmas trees each year. It takes 5 – 7 years for them to mature enough for harvesting. That time to maturity is something that has caused me to pause.
The last few weeks our group at church has been doing a small group study using Mark Batterson’s book All IN. The portion of the book I read this past week included a story Batterson shared about Noah and his “all in” commitment to follow God’s call to build an ark. Depending upon which biblical scholar you read it took somewhere between 60 and 120 years to finish the ark. Batterson shared the Jewish tradition that not only did Noah build the ark, but he planted trees! Trees which grew to maturity; trees he then harvested and cut into boards to be used in the ark. Yeah, I kind of chuckled at my hesitancy to plant trees that take 5 – 7 years to mature.
Which leads me to a question worthy of our consideration. Noah planted trees to build an ark to save his family from the coming flood of destruction God had warned him was coming. The ark I want to build is one that could provide another small source of income for our family into the future. Oh, the question; what ark do you need to build? Your ark may be a relationship that needs to be built or restored and the trees that need planting may be an encouraging word or act of kindness.
As for me – I think I’ll plant some trees…