How do they do That?
By Debbie Christopher~~Last month, we took a cross-country trip out west. We were blessed to see some new areas of this beautiful country. My husband visited Grand Canyon for the first time, and for the first time, we both enjoyed that awesome, mountainous small corner of Arizona between Utah and Las Vegas as well as the rolling plains of Nebraska. But wouldn’t you know, the sight that triggered my blog brain was a section of the trip we had seen on previous visits.
The Columbia River Gorge and the mountains that border the river that separates Oregon and Washington have become one of my favorites. On this particular trip, I noticed something quite perplexing about the many evergreen trees that grew up the mountainside, and I asked--- knowing the answer—“How do they do that?”
Obviously, the trees that grow along the ridgeline grow straight and tall along that top rim…but what about the trees that grow out of the mountainside? Shouldn’t they be growing OUTWARD? Seriously, when you think about it, those trees are growing out of the side of a mountain. Why, then do they grow straight up like the ones along the ridgeline? Ok, I know that none of you have probably thought that deeply about tree growth…but for some reason, on that particular day, I did.
Although I was momentarily intrigued, I scientifically knew the answer, and my Science teacher husband matter-of-factly stated, “Photosynthesis!” The ‘sideways’ trees reach for the sunlight that provides life and growth to plant life.. The application of this thought stuck with me throughout the duration of our visit to the area.
As we headed back East, we were driving along the mountain side of the gorge highway, and as I looked carefully, sure enough, right at the bottom of the tree trunks there was a bend. From the moment those trees broke through the ground, they ‘knew’ they needed to reach upward, thus, there was a bend in the growth process. They ‘knew’ they needed to change direction and grow upward towards the light.
I discussed this process in a Christmas related blog a couple of years back in a lesson about the Christmas tree. So it was interesting and eye-opening to ‘see’ the process in action.
Bending takes place when we realize growing outwardly doesn’t provide the light needed for life and growth as we face trials and struggles. To be strong, we need to allow ourselves to bend through the growth process and reach upward for that life-providing ‘Sonlight’ Scripture refers to as The Light of the World....The Light that gives life.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 HCSB
And, while you're at it...I encourage you to read John 1:1-14.
Keep growing upward!