Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church


July 28th, 2011 by Pastor David Echelbarger

I was out for an early morning run, when off the path a tree caught my eye.  I stopped for a moment and looked at the mature oak.  It was surrounded by a skirt of buckthorns and I had to part the branches to get to it: like a jungle.  Only then did it come fully into view.  The trunk rose straight from the ground for about six feet before the first branch jutted out exactly perpendicular to the earth.  That is what drew me to the tree.

If I was young, I would return here again and again.  Surely, I would part the buckthorn and walk to this secreted tree. It could be my fort. It would become my friend.  The branch above my head presented any number of possibilities.  It could be a horse to ride, the back of an elephant or a base or a tree house.  If I was a child, I would devote myself to this tree.  I would return to it again and again: trying to figure out how to reach that branch, the next level.  Perhaps I’d toss a rope and pull myself up?  Construct a ladder?   I would reason it out.  I would get there and that tree, that tree, would be summer for me.  I have known many such trees.


The child sat in front of the flickering screen.  He had not been outside for days.  His fingers flew over the keys, his right hand shooting out to grab the mouse. His eyes were fixed on the game he was playing.  He would devote his entire summer trying to arrive at the next level.  The score climbed higher, as summer passed.  He had known many such games.


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