Photo by jplenio of Pixabay
What will you do in the mundane days of faithfulness?
There is a tree on Highway 4 just north of Swift Current, Saskatchewan that locals call The Lone Tree. It was planted as part of a windbreak in the early 1900's by a bachelor Norwegian homesteader named Knut Mjolid. When it came time to sell the property, a gentleman's agreement was made between Knut and the new owners that if ever they were to take down the windbreak, they would leave at least one tree. That gentleman's agreement was honoured and thus, to this day we have The Lone Tree.
I think of that tree off and on, and wonder at its survival. Standing alone by a moderately quiet highway, unsheltered, braving bone-dry summers, or biting winter winds and everything in between, it has fulfilled its purpose for over 100 years. It has planted its roots deep and raises its limbs to the sky.
I'm told it is tradition to honk your horn when you drive past The Lone Tree. Other than those honks and the odd photographer wandering nearby, the tree spends most of its time being faithful to its calling, with no one watching but God.
Faithfulness is not doing something right once but doing something right over and over and over and over.
These past two years have been hard. After the initial shock we thought, okay we can do this for a few weeks. But then the weeks turned into months, and the months turned into years, and the world got incomprehensibly chaotic.
People are weary. I see it in the irritable words spoken by customarily kind people. I see it in the inability to handle seemingly simple setbacks. I see it in panic, fearfulness, mistrust, and impatience. There is a palpable rising level of anxiety in the world generally. More and more prayer requests flood my inbox, making even the privilege of prayer heavy.
And what can I do? What can I do?
I think of The Lone Tree, doing nothing other than to be faithful to its calling.
It is not my job to heal every heart (or even one heart). It is not my job to fix the wrongs in the world. It is my job to be faithful. To carry on; to put one foot in front of the other; to look for opportunities to share love and kindness; to write one word after another after another; to sit in that chair in my study and do the work.
And to remember that He is faithful.
Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
Joy has driven by The Lone Tree on several occasions, when visiting relatives in the Swift Current area and when traveling to Briercrest Bible College (when it was still Briercrest Bible Institute). She writes from Edmonton, where she lives with her soon-to-be-retired Cowboy. Find her Joy-infused view of the world at Scraps of Joy.