Brush Piles

While making brush piles of broken branches in the aftermath of the recent wind storm, I recalled the following account shared by former Wesleyan leader, Dr. Oliver G. Wilson:

Driving across the plains of Kansas where there are but few trees, I saw in the distance what appeared to be the outline of one of those scrub oaks for which this particular part of Kansas is noted. As I drew nearer, however, and the object began to take form, I said to myself, “Not a tree, only a brush-pile.”

This started a line of thinking: Just what is the difference between a brush-pile and a tree?

The brush pile lacks two essentials: life and organization.

It might be that at one time this brush-pile by the Kansas highway had been a beautiful tree. It may be that it produced shade and possibly food for weary travelers who chanced to pass that way.

What had caused the change? Something had destroyed its life and had broken down its organization. At one time it had been symmetrical and beautiful. Now, it was a mass of tangled sticks.

There are individuals whose lives have become nothing but brush-piles. There is no great central purpose directing their activities. There is no glow of divine life.

It is to be observed that one characteristic of brush-piles is that they become hide-outs for all manner of creeping things. Should a hunter prod around for any length of time, it is highly probably that animals of many varieties would run out into the open. And a life that is a brush-pile becomes a den of ugly, vicious things. There will be jealousies, evil speaking, envies, hatreds and every evil work.

Further observation reveals the brush-pile to be in the process of decay. It will become smaller and smaller with each passing year, while a tree will expand and grow. The brush pile is a nuisance, while the tree is a blessing. The brush pile is ugly, while the tree is beautiful. The sun and rain that destroys the brush-pile feed the tree and cause it to widen its influence

The contrasts, Wilson observed, are paralleled in the life of the person who lives by faith in God, and the one who does not.

“He who is living for God will expand and grow and produce fruit under the grinding influences of life. The person who is sinful in heart will become bitter, censorious and hateful under the hard things of life.”

Are you a tree or a brush-pile? (Boundless Horizons, p. 105)


Anonymous said…
That is a great analogy

Popular posts from this blog

Shepherds and Wise Men Both Made it to Bethlehem

Great Computer Cookies