One Small Cedar

The morning sun sparkled on the calm water like a thousand diamonds. Surrounded by towering mountains, each blanketed with countless trees, all adorned with their spring foliage, we sat quietly in the boat waiting for the fish to bite. Enjoying the moment and consumed by the beauty of it all, I looked to the shoreline and noticed the many trees that had fallen, or were in the process of falling into the lake. Over time, the pounding waves had eroded away the soil beneath them. I particularly noticed one small cedar holding on rather precariously to a rocky ledge; its roots exposed and reaching out in all directions.

At first I felt a bit critical of these trees for picking such hazardous places to grow. I thought how important it is that trees, as well as people, choose well a place to grow. If we are not careful, we, too, can have the foundations of our lives washed out from beneath us.

But then a feeling of admiration came over me, especially for this small cedar. You see, it had no say whatsoever in where its seed fell. It was completely at the mercy of the wind which carried it to that rocky ledge. Sure, it would have been better if the wind had carried it higher up on the mountain, but it didn’t; nor did it deposit it in a watery grave. It wasn’t the best nor the worst place and all the cedar could do was make the best of it.

I suppose if it were a person, it might have cried over what “might have been” or “never will be”. But it was not a person, nor could it do anything except what it was created to do – make the best of wherever the winds of life carried it…and it was doing that in a most courageous way.

As our boat drifted past that little cedar and the illusive bass that were giving me much time for meditation, I considered how straggly it looked. I thought how it would never become a proud and mighty cedar and how soon it would fall into the lake and become a sanctuary for fish. I also thought how on that day, God stirred my spirit, not with the sight of this one small cedar, going against all odds. And in doing so, it was honoring its Creator by making the best of what it was given.

Rev. Wendell Mettey
Revised 10/3/2013

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