Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lessons from the Fir Tree

Katie and I have been reading through a book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales that was mine when I was a little girl. Today we read The Fir Tree.

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 For those who aren't familiar with this story, it follows a little fir tree through his life. During each season of his life, he is discontent and unhappy with his circumstances. When he's a young sapling in the forest, he wants to be a big tree. When he sees other trees being harvested to be made into Christmas trees, he is unhappy because he wants to go with them. When he finally becomes a Christmas tree, he is unhappy and wants to return to his forest. When his decorations are stripped and he is stuck in the basement, he is unhappy and wishes he could go back and enjoy being a Christmas tree again. And, when he is finally being burned as firewood, he looks back over his life remembering various happy moments. The story closes with,

"But soon it was all over, and his story had come to an end, as all stories must."

I couldn't help but be struck with the practical application of such a story. In each season of life, it is so easy to wallow in discontentment waiting for what's next. When we're single, we want to be married. Once we are married, we want a baby. Once we're pregnant, we want to be done with the first trimester. And the whole pregnancy. Once our baby is born, we want him to go ahead and start sleeping through the night. Then we want him to crawl and walk. Then we want another baby. 

No matter how lovely our current season is, we're prone to think,"What if this, that and the other thing were different? My life would be so much better." We fail to see the beauty and, like the cows which are always escaping from their fields in my little part of the world, we can't help but think the grass will be greener on the other side. We fail to find the beauty in the circumstances God has given us right now

Pregnancy can be rough (and I know I have it much easier than so many women!), but how awesome it is to grow new life within our bodies! The newborn days are exhausting to be sure, but what is more precious than the sweetness of snuggling your newborn babe, taking in all their sweet features. The toddler years are definitely trying--but watching your child's personality develop and their understanding increase is amazing. Each season of life is truly brimming with things to be thankful for, gifts from a loving Creator--we just have to find them and give thanks.

Time passes at ridiculous speeds. Because of the fall, each of our (earthly) stories must come to an end--soon. When it's my story ending, I don't want to regret failure to thoroughly embrace each season for all the beauty and incredible blessings it holds.

1 comment:

  1. That's been so long ago MJ! We read so much when you were young. I'm so glad you are giving your little ones a good start in the love of reading. Love you!