Evergreen – a pine tree; a Christmas tree. My favorite tree.
”In botany, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year that are always green. This is true even if the plant retains its foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.” (Wikipedia)
Most pine trees have a very long life span – from one hundred years to some which live for thousands of years! In actual definition, Evergreen means: “Continuously renewed or self-renewing.” Ah, HERE lies the deeper meaning.
For whatever actual tradition the Christmas tree came from, or represents, for ME I have found a reminder of my purpose within the branches of a simple pine tree called an Evergreen Tree.
I know lots of people who don’t enjoy Christmas because it reminds them of something or someone missing from their lives. The holidays can feel a lot less than holly jolly or merry and bright. I wondered for myself and others who have suffered a great loss if there truly is a way to get through the holidays without disappearing into oblivion and despair. The pain and loss people have are real. It can even lead to a higher rate of suicide.
Is there anything that can get us through? Yes. Evergreen. Self-renewal. This comes down to ME renewing myself and not leaving that up to fate or someone else. Just ME taking care of ME.
Self-renewal is more than just self-help. It must first be born from our roots going deep into the true source of life and love – God the creator. Then and only then are we truly able to sustain life. “You have granted me life and lovingkindness, And Your care has preserved my spirit.” (Job 10:12)
REACH OUT TO OTHERS
My mother used to say, “When you feel sad or are feeling sorry for yourself, go do something nice for someone else.” NO joke! THIS works! This is part of the process of self-renewal. It is like watering your own roots, saturating them with continuous water in order for life to go on. Without water, the roots would turn brown and wither away, causing the entire tree to die.
When you reach out to others to bring them joy, you get the joy back yourself from the sacrifice of your love. Strangely and mysteriously true! There is an old saying I have tried to live by – “The joy you give others is the joy that comes back to you.” I have learned how right my mother was. Yes, it can be a sacrifice and feel like pulling teeth, to get outside of yourself enough to leave your own pain behind. But, it works. It will renew your spirit and it will cause an evergreen experience to bud within your heart. An evergreen tree retains/keeps green leaves all year long, year after year after year.
GROWING TALL LIKE AN EVERGREEN
”He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8)
As I gaze at my own Christmas tree it silently twinkles truth to me. I want to be like a tree and particularly an Evergreen. And be someone who takes good care of myself in order to care for others. I want to GIVE joy in order to KEEP joy. And I want to bear fruit. I want my light to stay burning. And my roots to go deep and none of them to go prematurely brown or to wilt before their time. I want to go green!
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)
Don’t let sorrow or loss zap the life from the root system of WHO you are.
Evergreen. In a way, we could BE Christmas trees all year long bringing life and joy and hope to all who sit under our shade.
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