Celebrations of Advent are over. It’s now time to invent 2016. While we don’t have full control over how things will look by this time next year, we can see visions and dream dreams.
Sometimes we’re not quite ready to put the past behind as we go into the New Year. Some of us may still be surrounded by remnants of Christmas.
I struggled a bit in taking down our Christmas tree. It was still healthy, tall and vibrant, full of good memories and had a story of its own. But it was time.
If you saw our tree, you probably wouldn’t immediately associate it with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
Living in a redwood forest, it’s tough to settle for an artificial tree or pay for a pricey tree.
A few years ago I was determined to use a small redwood tree on our property for our Christmas tree. But redwoods are pretty sparse in the branch department. Our Jewish neighbor Michael, also frugal, saw my predicament and suggested that I tie two trees together. It was a huge improvement, but we still had a Charlie Brown rival that first year.
We have since upped the ante, and this time tied seven trees together. It was still a bit whimsical, but it was homegrown and had its own special beauty.
We’ve learned that when you tie enough Charlie Browns together you can have a healthy looking tree. Freshly cut and immediately placed in water, these trees have greater longevity than a tree you’d buy off the lot.
We’ve also learned that having just a base for our seven flimsy trees is inadequate. For this invention to succeed, we needed a secure connection above as well. By tying the tips to a bolt in the ceiling, our small cathedral of redwoods stood tall and secure---as one.
And, of course, we can’t help but reflect on how healthy a family, church or ministry can look when we stand together in unity. We may singularly feel inadequate, but when enough of us Charlie Browns get together, look out! We’ve got something beautiful.
Moving on from the past, let’s stay grounded, nourished and securely connected above---as we unify to invent 2016!