Rings That Tell a Story

Recently, I was reading the book The Boys in the Boat about the 1936 Olympic rowing team. In part of the story, the main character is listening to the boat builder speak about the wood he uses to build the boat.

The paragraph elaborates on how the rings in the tree told more about the tree’s life than just it’s age, “(the lines’) thickness and thinness spoke of years of struggle or rich years of sudden growth.” It goes on to identify how colors of the rings indicate the soils and minerals encountered by its roots. Also, the paragraph states, “Flaws and irregularities told how the trees endured fires and lightning strikes and windstorms and infestations and yet continued to grow.” Finally, “The wood … taught us about survival, about overcoming difficulty, about prevailing over adversity, but it also taught us something about the underlying reason for surviving in the first place. Something about infinite beauty, about undying grace, about things larger and greater than ourselves. About the reasons we were all here.” (Brown, Daniel James. (2013) The Boys in the Boat, page 214. New York, New York: PENGUIN BOOKS.)

I reflect on my own “colors”, my own flaws and irregularities, my areas of thickness or thinness. Likely, just as with a tree, these all tell my story about times of rich growth and struggles I have endured. I believe that God has provided the rich soils and minerals, encountered by my roots, that provide for me to grow. But, most lovingly, it is about a greater purpose, larger than I alone bear.

Hebrews 13:20-21, Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Sarah Thompson

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