A curiosity greeted me this morning as I prepared to ride my stationary bike which sits on an out-of-the-way section of our driveway. On the right and front sides of where I ride, grow fourteen large pine trees, so the ground, since it is early November, is being covered with pine needles. They usually lie on the ground, but as the sun light slowly illuminated more of the dusty ground, I noticed several that had landed with their permanent stuck in the ground, causing them to be erect, not prone like most of them. Seeing one or two standing tall, led me to seeing more of them, and soon I had counted over a dozen with the weight of their permanent holding them fast in the morning sun’s light. As I rode, I wondered….
Each needle from our trees has two or three fascile and the permanent. The vast majority lie on the ground until my friend Mike rakes them for transfer to his garden for mulch. Yet, I reasoned that the weight of the permanent would be enough to give it first contact with the ground. Depending on many factors, the diploxylon would either stand or lie, but few manage to be erect in the soft soil.
Riding more caused me to wonder more. I was seeing only pine needles. Some standing. Some not. Yet each of them has a permanent, which means each has the tools necessary to stand, but is dependent on natural circumstances. But we Christians are not dependent on natural circumstances, and we have free will which can serve as our permanent.
But how many of us stand in the soil of modern America? I fear that few of us obey The Sermon on the Mount. We may read it (yet I question that), but do we follow it? Do we love each other or shout, “Raca,” to anyone who does not look, speak, or think like us?
God has given us our permanent which grounds us if we allow it. However, do we land upright or just fall over because resisting gravity requires effort?