My childhood home was always a safe place, a refuge. Even when I moved to Uni I knew I could come home for the weekend and find rest, love, and Mom’s home cooked meals.
It’s a small house, sitting several hundred feet from the road, nestled in around the pines and a row of trees. Trees that provide homes to squirrels, cardinals, and a tree house hung for me and my brother, when we make-believed we were superheroes that were out saving the world!
Having just moved home to this place after 6 years of being overseas, I find myself feeling the same way I did then, safe, rested, and loved. Missing my adventurous life overseas but feeling right at home, here at the same time.
As I sit and look at these trees I can see they’ve aged just as I have. We’ve owned this house for 24 years now and the trees are bigger, older, and much different. Some of them still healthy, growing taller and broader each year. I glanced up to notice that a mistletoe had made it’s way into the tops of my favourite tree. The big oak that held the tire swing years and years ago. It’s likely the oldest one on the property and slowly it’s big strong branches are starting to fall off and die.
At first I was sad, but then God began to highlight something I was missing. Trees have always reminded me of how elegant, thoughtful, and faithful God is. Each tree is unique and while some may be similar, none are exactly the same. They take root into the ground and bring up life. They are homes to animals, they provide shelter, oxygen, and they bare fruit.
My eyes focused in on the mistletoe. Remembering that we’ve made it something glamorous for the holidays. A romantic gesture that when two people walk under it they should share a kiss. What we forget is that mistletoe is like a silent killer for big trees such as the oak.
It’s a parasite that while it looks green, lively, and healthy it’s actually smothering what this tree is meant to do, as it steals the life from it. We’ve glamorised it and forgotten that all fruit isn’t necessarily good.
I started thinking of the things in my life that have bore fruit due to my decisions. Things that might look glamorous to me or to others. Things that are alive and have the appearance of being good, all the while smothering what God originally intended.
The thing about mistletoe is that once one tree has it, it quickly spreads across to its neighbours unsuspectingly. It runs rampant and there’s almost no way to completely stop it. People might admire it from afar while the tree is silently unable to live its full potential. It’s a parasite that while it looks green, lively, and healthy it’s actually smothering what this tree is meant to do, as it steals the life from it.
I started to see what God was showing me. I started to allow my mind to realise the things that I’ve gotten use to, or even found pride in. Things I thought were good but things that were never meant to be a part of my life. I started to see that there were things in me, that because of my choices it had affected other people in allowing my decisions to take root and become a part of them too.
Somehow my vision got blurred along the way. My heart wasn’t sharp anymore. I had allowed my conscience to become dull and these mistletoe attributes became a part of me. I was even blind enough in thinking all the fruit I was bearing was good. So here’s to seeing the mistletoe. Not just for our own sake…but the sake of stopping it from spreading to the lives of others. For the sake of becoming exactly who God intended us to be and not allowing anything to rob us of that.
Sometimes there are areas of our lives that we don’t know are problematic until we allow God to show us. It’s then our job to kiss the mistletoe goodbye and step into the fullness of who we are created to be and what we are created to do. If you’re wanting to take that next step in your life, join us on a journey of discovery of purpose and truth. Sign up to one of our unique Discipleship Training Schools.
*** Sometimes life’s biggest moments come at the least expected times.
If you’re keen for 22 weeks of life changing moments just like this one, then check out one of our Discipleship Training School (DTS) options to not only learn about your faith, but experience it!
Alumni DTS and Staff Member for 5 years, Lea, is a bright ambitious young woman from Paris, Texas, USA. She’s an excellent leader, teacher, communicator, and one of the best story tellers you’ll ever get the privilege of hearing from! She enjoys coffee, being with good company, and watching documentaries.