Friday, October 4, 2013

When Is The Best Time To Plant A Tree?

It's fall.  I love the persistent breeze and gentler sun of fall.  And I think of trees.  I think of the beautiful foliage that has just started to turn.  There are hills and mountains out east, so in a few weeks, they will present breathtaking views.  The kind of views that make you want to drive somewhere, sniff the air, and pick some apples.  With their sticky juice on your fingers and the crinkle of leaves beneath your feet, you know you've entered a special season. 

A friend of mine sent me a post the other week about the best time to plant a tree.  Its author was at a tree nursery and had a conversation with the owner.  She wondered if fall is the best time to plant a tree. Yet while there, she recounts an old Chinese proverb:  The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.  The second best time is today.  In other words, the answer to her question wasn't dependent upon the seasons at all.

There was something spiritually nagging at me after I read this short encounter.  The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.  The second best time is today.  We know that trees serve a vital role in our ecosystem, so of course they need to be respected and plentiful.  But the Chinese proverb hints at something more.  Trees also signify strength in their stature, a persistent life force in their growth, and quiet wisdom in their enduring presence.

Is there a place in your life where you need to plant trees? 
  • The best time to kick a bad habit was twenty years ago, but the second best time is today.  There is strength waiting for you from your Heavenly Father, who is reaching out his hand and saying - today is the day
  • The best time to end an abusive or damaging relationship was twenty years ago, but the second best time to seek help is today.  The God of heaven cares about every hair on your head, and you where made for something greater.
  • The best time to cast your fears aside and invite the Word to inform your daily decisions was twenty years ago, for it's invitation is ongoing, but the second best time is today.  Not only does Jesus want to be your best friend, but he has tremendous plans for your life - and he wants to accomplish those plans together.

As usual, I write for me as much as for you today.  We all have things that we would like to change.  God knows this about us.  That's why there is an invitation linked to that Chinese proverb through the lens of our Savior.  God is in the business of planting.  But God doesn't just plant and leave us alone; scripture says that we can only thrive if we stay connected to him (John 15:5).

God can give us new and abundant life, and he wants to take us higher.  Allow him to sow seeds in a new direction in your life, even if the pattern is ingrained and the history is long.  Allow his love to enable you to dream again.  Christ claims that if we simply have faith the size of a mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds, then he can move mountains (Matt 17:20).  I can think of no better time to claim that blessing with confidence than today.

Does this post resonate with you?  Please share this post with any friends whom you know could use some uplift today!

{Photo by Tony Hall at Flickr}


  1. Nice! I'm delighted that this post inspired you to take this in a different, deeper direction!

    1. Thank you, Ann, for visiting! The author who inspired it all - glad you liked the post! Blessings to you today.

  2. This entry was such a gift! Thinking of God reaching out his hand every day to say "Today is the day!" inspires me and reminds me with our children or maybe those in our lives who could challenge us.....who knows if you keep your hand outstreched, what day THEY'LL say "today is the day!" I am grateful for this entry and this blog. Keep uplifting and encouraging us Noelle! That's what being a parent is all about - always have an outstreched hand to our little ones. They'll take it up when we least expect it!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Shannon, and for being a faithful reader! You are a wonderful Christian, mother, and friend.

  3. Thank you Noelle for this post. It's a good reminder that we are only guaranteed the present and should mindfully appreciate it. Today is the day!

    1. You're so right, Lauren! Today is a gift - such an important reminder to unlock it's power. Thanks for reading and commenting, dear friend! Sending the blessing this post holds to you today.


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