Growing up in the country side, where there were few motor vehicles, an opportunity to ride in one was always welcome and exciting. I remember one of the most mesmerizing part was to look through the window of the moving vehicle and see trees run past us in the direction we were moving from. To my young mind, the trees were moving in the direction opposite to the vehicle and that was without fail a source of intrigue.
“11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child….”
I’d be excused to think that way in those days, but of course now I know different. The trees are actually moving relative to the vehicle. remembering this relativity that looked so real to me, made me think of a comparison I’ve had between vehicles and trees.
For a long time I was schooled to think of a christian like a vehicle on a journey and just like any vehicle it needs refueling every so often. It will need to stop at a fuel station and refuel before moving on, otherwise it risks stalling in a deserted place when fuel runs out. This thinking was supposed to encourage people to regularly gather with other Christians especially for Sunday services in order to be ‘refueled’ so that they are able to run when they are on their own during the week.
While the vehicle analogy sounds logical, I’ve come to appreciate the trees as a more accurate representation of the believer.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.…”
1. while a vehicle is a machine, a tree is organic and so is a believer/christian
2. The source of ‘life’ for the vehicle is exhaustible, but the river where the tree is planted is not, and so it is for a christian.
“13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”” (John 4)
3. The vehicle has no relationship with other vehicles going to the petrol station, while the tree does with other trees and thus they support each other and so is the believer.
4. A vehicle goes to the fuel station, but a tree is planted at the source of it’s nourishment.
5. A vehicle is driven while a tree grows, both in stature and depth, and so is a believer.
6. many vehicles together at the fueling station causes traffic jam, while many trees together are a forest that creates an echo system, same with many Christians abiding in Christ together, they form the Church which the Body of Christ, the visible image of the invisible God. They are built up together by that which every joint supplies to the edifying of the body in love.
Thinking myself more of a tree, you?