Two weeks ago, I listened to a good friend tell the story of how he, admiring his handiwork, had fallen on the edge of a chair and landed flat on his back. I rubbed salt in his wounded ego, linking his sprained wrist to an even greater foolishness within. My own confidence knew no bounds, this type of thing would never happen to me! Why would anyone stand on tiptoe on the edge of a chair, just to admire the plumb line of his work?
When I was a child, holly was a prickly green leaf that came from a bush. Today, holly refers to a tree that drops prickly hard leaves on the grass and blocks the sun. . I am at war with this tree.
Yesterday was a day of performing light trimming on the largest soldier. Sawzall in hand, I was prepared! At first light, I attacked the edges, first one side, and then another. The battle carried on into the morning, my confidence building and position in the tree getting higher and higher. After three hours, I was tackling the major limbs. Cutting limbs that are 9-15 inches thick requires one to think of safety first. There is no point of getting injured over this!
The attack took out one major branch, then another. The drone of the saw always ending with the loud cracking as the limb tumbled to earth. Finally, the granddaddy of them all! After the victory, I sat in the nook of the stark tree stump 18 feet from the ground. The final stages of the battle had gone like clockwork. The limb had fallen perfectly, the result of three cuts made at strategic locations on a weak point.
I took bent over to admire my handiwork, safety abandoned. One snap later and I miraculously found myself hanging by one arm, poised to land in a snarling pile of holly.
I am good when God fills me yet the battle ranges on. “Good people last – they can’t be moved; the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.” (Proverbs 10.30)