We had to have our ash tree taken down last year, because it had died as a result of an infestation of the Ash Borer Insect. It was a big tree and there were a lot of electrical and cable wires near it, so whoever took it down would have to know what they were doing. Three estimates and we decided on a company. The tree had a very large base and was very tall so whoever did the work we needed to know that they could do it with confidence.
Then the day came and a whole team of about five to six men were arrived. One was the tree climber and the rest directed the branches as they fell. These men also did the cleanup during the process to make room for other branches and for their own safety.
I watched and took pictures and video taped parts of it. I found it fascinating that the man in the tree with the chainsaw did not just start sawing. He checked twice both from the where the rope was circle around the limb and where it was attached to his tool belt before sawing or climbing to another limb (which sometimes was swinging). He also checked his own attachment of the rope to his belt to make sure he was still secure. Second, he had to be sure that everyone below was aware of where he was and what he was doing. Finally, he relied on their direction sometimes when they thought something should be handled differently. Every person had a role in the job. The man in the tree with the chainsaw had a difficult job and probably the most dangerous, but the men on the ground had an equally important job, securing the rope, directing the branches as they came down, and cleaning up the debris. They were all needed for the task. It was a coordinated effort and all hands were on deck. In a way it was an art with a whole team involved.
The tree that had been there before we moved in and for several years before then has been gone for a year, but the lessons for me are not forgotten. The first is I need to be secure, which I can translate into being confident in who I am and in who God made me to be. The second is I need to have a team in place, a support system if you will. Third, I need to allow others to give me direction, especially God and those close to me. I may think my way is the right way, but I can have blinders on if I don’t look up to see what God may have to tell me. Then I will know my next steps and when the tree falls (as it does for all of us) then I will be more prepared. I also need to clean up along the way so as I see the road clearer and thereby have a safer journey or at least one that is easier to travel than if it had not been cleaned up.
Now I need to answer these questions for myself? What is my tree? How can I make those hard decisions knowing the outcome may not always be as easy as taking down a tree? Who will be on my team? Who is willing to say hard things and not worry about hurting my feelings? Am I willing to be open to what others have to say to me or am I stubborn enough that I will do it my way no matter what they say? I also need to do something which is not easy for me and that is to ask for help. A good team member is willing to ask others for help. I need to forgo all I think about doing life by myself and include others in the process.
This is where God comes in and he can be the one to open my heart to see things from other people’s perspective. If I invite him in the process than he will open the doors and prepare the way for me. Bringing me the rope holders, climbers, and cleanup team along the way. For I will need each of those key players as I go through my life.
Now I ask you, what is your struggle or need? Who will you invite to be a part of your team? Will you go it alone or invite others to help you? Most importantly will you be vulnerable enough to ask for help from people you trust?
As an aside, while I do miss the tree having it be gone has really opened up the yard a lot. I miss its shade and how the light would shine through the branches, but having a more open area has been refreshing. So change can be good and can bring a whole different refreshing outlook on life and how you see it.