There is much beauty and wonder in this world that God created.  From the elemental foundations of creation God produced a vast array of intricate and beautiful objects.  Each day the sun rises to illuminate before our eyes amazing things, yet because we are so use to them we often hardly notice.  Today I invite you to take a few moments to explore with me the wonder of trees.

Here in sun drenched California, we go to extremes to find shaded parking.  We are seeking a tree.  At the end of a day’s work, we arrive home to our wood structured homes and recline on a comfortable wood structured chair with perhaps a handful of almonds or an apple all brought to us by a tree.  Trees provide so much of life’s amenities.  Just think of all the things in our daily lives that come from trees.  Trees are immeasurably useful, but they also contribute to the aesthetics of life.

A grove of trees becomes a forest.  If you think of a forest, memories will flood your soul.  A lone palm tree may stir visions of a tropical island and a cool ocean breeze.  The quaking of an aspen grove is amazingly soothing.  What can compare with the beautiful colors of a New England forest in autumn?  There is something magical about walking on a path through a wooded area.  When we were children, the forest provided great adventures.  We have all been touched by the vision of trees.

When I was in the Navy, our missions often took us to sea for long periods of time.  During these times, there were two things that I sorely missed trees and potato chips.  (We’ll save the wonders of potato chips for a later discussion.)  I’ve always loved trees.  My childhood memories are deeply imprinted with trees.  On my grandparents farm in Pennsylvania stood a large maple tree near the chicken house.  I spent many hours in that tree.  By climbing high into its limbs, I could hide away from all cares, and my mind would flow with countless thoughts.  For a time, my family lived in rural Virginia.  Our home was right in the forest.  When the leaves fell in autumn, they piled as high as two feet.  My brothers, sisters and I would rake streets through the leaves and create our own city.  This city occupied many hours of play time.

There is so much wonder and beauty in God’s world.  Thank you for joining me for a few moments with trees.  Think of those parts of creation that most stimulate you.  Take time to enjoy them even if you only have time to explore your memories of them.  It will quiet your soul.

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