Not many of us recall the acorn when we see the great oak. The seed is planted where it falls, watered by rain, receives sunlight, and secretly it begins to grow.  We rarely, if ever, witness the struggle that takes place under the earth as its journey to a mighty, magnificent oak begins. And, it is much the same with life today in many respects.

The acorn, transforms from within, breaks forth from its hard shell, sprouts its roots, and in a process of decades becomes a great and mighty oak. When we see the great oak, we see the final masterpiece that towers above us as we stand in its shade, climb on its branches, or marvel at its magnificence and stature. We do not see its process as a life process.

We loose sight of the acorn as it becomes buried under the daily dirt of life, as we ignore its need for water, sunlight, and time in our rush. Our world is much of immediate gratification, instant answers, nearly constant stimuli, and the pressure TO DO instead of BE. We often minimize or forget process altogether and the value of waiting and being still. While we propel ourselves forward to the end result we push so hard for, we can become disenchanted with our outcome.

When there comes a storm, if the acorn has not been nurtured in its rooting and growing, the mighty oak may loose some branches or uproot altogether. Unforeseen circumstances form hollow holes in the trunk that fill with squirrels and small animals threatening growth and survival.  And, lets not forget that pesky poison ivy, like a parasite, steals nourishment and strangles growth. We can be destroyed by the enemies within and around. That mighty, magnificent oak has fought many battles and somehow has overcome them.

It has been my personal experience that assessing life and goals (the end result  desired), an inventory of character (roots and their strengths and weaknesses), seeking counsel and input from others (support for the trunk and branches) acts as sunlight and water to life as much as to the great oak. Personal and life assessment is the fertilizer to the ground around the roots that brings healing to the holes in the trunk, permitting  branches to flourish with leaves… that there may be propagation of acorns so we are able to cultivate a magnificent oak in our lives’.

But how does one begin to assess their life?  With time set aside to fearlessly and thoroughly examine ourselves, with the intention to assess all areas of life. To be still and quiet before God, praying and listening. (The hardest for me.)  Focusing on what isn’t congruent with God’s ideal for life in our horizontal plane, so we can act to put new roots down and grow in our relationship with the Lord in our vertical plane.

Pray about it… ALL of it. No one is perfect, and frankly, God already knows. We need to acknowledge our flaws. Nothing we do surprises Him, and God longs for us to seek him.

Assessing the soil, roots, trunk, and branches of our lives, performed routinely enables us to prune our lives. Get rid of the junk and the flaws. Seasons change. We can always be growing… always becoming… a mighty, magnificent oak.