Advice From a Tree (by Ilan Shamir)

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

I remember going to Muir Woods near San Francisco and saw and read this poem on  a plaque in the visitors center.  I stumbled upon it again recently.  There’s a lot of deep practical wisdom in this poem that serves as wonderful spiritual reminders.  It reminds me of Jesus’s style – to use ordinary things to illustrate powerful spiritual truth.

Every line can become a prayer.

Change me O God and help me to…stand tall and proud in who you’ve created me to be. To sink my roots deeply into your love. To reflect your light in this world. To think long term. To go out on a limb for you love. To remember my place among all things living with humility. To embrace the joy of life. To change. To be energetic, bring life, grow, be content and learn to let go. To rest and be quiet. To delight in life. To look up in wonder. To seek nourishment in the good. To enjoy the simple pleasures of life. To drink deeply from the water of your Spirit. To learn to sway and dance in and with your Spirit.  To be flexible. To remember my heritage and roots. And to enjoy the new view from the perspective of your love.

And this poem seems to echo one of my favorite passages and prayers from Scripture: Ephesians 3:17-19 TLB

“And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.”

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