3 Things You Can Learn From The California Redwood Trees
Wanna know something? We were designed to be Interdependent.
In an independent society and the pride the comes with such stigma, the reality is - nobody is truly independent of anybody. We all need and will always depend on somebody - especially, our families.
The same is true with the huge redwood trees of California.
They are the largest living things on earth and the tallest trees in the world. Some of them are 300 feet high and over 2,500 years old. That's massive!
One would think that trees so large must have a tremendous root system that reaches down hundreds of feet into the earth. After all, that's what most of us were taught in school. In fact, it's true for the most part, but not so for these redwood beasts.
Lewis Timberlake tells the story: “While on a tour of California's giant sequoias, the guide pointed out that the sequoia tree has roots just barely below the surface.
"That's impossible!" I exclaimed. "I'm a country boy, and I know that if the roots don't grow deep into the earth, strong winds will blow the trees over."
"Not sequoia trees," said the guide. "They grow only in groves and their roots intertwine under the surface of the earth. So, when the strong winds come, they hold each other up."
There's a lesson here.
In a sense, people are like the giant sequoias. Family, friends, neighbors, the church body and other groups should be havens so that when the strong winds of life blow, they can serve as reinforcement and can strive together holding each other up.
This is not a picture of survivorship, but rather of kingdom strength, stability, security and defensiveness. This is a great pictures of a family.
We are who we are as interdependent people because we’re created in the image of God, and, in the Trinity, we find an eternally interdependent - forever mutually reliant relationship.
Simply put, God, Jesus and Holy Spirit need each other to accomplish their mission. They are interdependent.
We can see the interdependence that marks the Trinity in many places in Scripture. As just one example, consider the story of Jesus’ baptism from Matthew 3:16-17 depicting a beautiful picture of synergy and partnership!
For us, this interdependence applies across the relational spectrum.
For example, kids and parents are interdependent. This is part of how they'll develop many things in common during their time together.
Truth is, as much as we try to teach our kids to become independent, and as much as we want to live independent of them and the rest of society, the fact still remains - we are interdependent with our families.
I've learned that I don't make all of my decisions in life apart from my family. In fact, they are very much part of many of the decisions I make.
Because that's how God created us to live. And that's how it works best.
We are to live independent of the sinful nature that was best owned upon man's disobedience to God, and live interdependent upon God, His Word, and His Family.
Parents hurt when they feel no longer needed by their older kids. Shoot, mom's even ache once the child is done nursing holding their own bottles and feeding their own meals.
So here are 3 easy ways to develop a strong interdependency on a family:
1. Cultivate the need to need each other
One of the ways my wife and I have managed to do this is by teaching our kids the importance and their need of each-other's skills, strengths and abilities.
We've also taught them the need to eat nutritiously, and stay away from junk foods as much as possible. This causes us to research more and my wife making home-made meals.
And guess what? All four of our kids enjoy mom's cooking way more than the restaurants. Of course, Coke and Root Beer and Ice Cream still win from time to time over home-made tea or home-made yogurt.
2. Cultivate unity in the home
This was a "must" when we first got married. 28 years later, this is part of the way we live.
What I mean is: one of the ways we've cultivated unity in the home is by having as many meals together as possible.
We also have family devotions, prayer and bible study.
Just these two alone will create an intertwining of togetherness, unity and interdependence upon each-other's company, prayers and support.
Of course, being a homeschooling family, that calls for unity - one way or another. And unity is sure to develop.
3. Cultivate a sense of empowerment of love in one another
One of the ways we've try to work on this area is to understand our kids' learning skills, personalities, and needs. We then love on them the same without strings attached.
We also stay away from criticizing their personalities, physical differences, and such. Sure we can joke a little but in a very limited way. But often we re-enforce the fact that God made them who they are.
We remind them that it's their privilege to maintain and develop God's character in their lives, because God wants to love them and love through them.
They know that our love for them is unconditional, that we respect who they are, but we work hard at helping them become better at who they are.
By the time is all said and done, our family is much like the California Redwood Trees, we are intertwined. In the process we help them develop a vision of strong individuals providing strength to each-other.
Their future spouses will then be joined to this jointed and inseparable unit of a family that will love them til the end.
There is no greater freedom than to be interdependent with the ones God has given you to live with and live for.
About the Author
Alex Colón, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Teacher, Pastor, Blogger and best of all, Husband and Father of 4. Living the re-Branded life