People vs Trees


“People are like a tree. You got some people that come into your life that are like the leaves on that tree. They come into your life for a season and as soon as the wind blow, they move on. Some people are like the branches of that tree. That are there for you to hold you up. But if you put a  little too much pressure on them, that snap leaving you high and dry to fend for yourself. Then you have people that are like the roots of the tree. No matter what may come you way they are there to keep you grounded.” – Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail (The Stage Play)

I’ve heard this analogy many times before but never really given it much thought. However, the other night when Madea gave it to Sonny in Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail (The Stage Play) it finally hit home fore me. I had to take a moment to sit back and reflect on my life and all the people that have come in and out over the last twenty-nine years. Many of them I feel like should still be around or should have left a more lasting impression but they have since moved on and I couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t begin to understand how strangers have had more of an vested interest in my emotional and mental well being then say my paternal grandmother or even father for that matter.

To often in life we tend to latch on to people that God never meant to be in our lives for more then a season. We want to make that person or group of people the root system to our tree when God ordained them to be branches. Yeah that person meas a lot to us. We’ve been through so much with them. That’s your first love or whatever the case maybe. Some would go as far as to say, “You just don’t understand where she and I have come from.” You right, I may not understand and God may not mean for me to personal understand. But you have to know that He does understand and He knows. However, regardless of the excuse that you may have come up with, I have heard it. And I have come up with some creative ones of my own.

  • But that’s my daddy and his people. I know they don’t mean me no harm.
  • That’s my high school sweetheart and my first love.
  • That’s my boy from the block. We been tight since the sandbox.

No, it’s not an easy task to let the love of your life walk out the door. And it’s even harder to let that family member go who diapered and burped you. But what I had to learn was that as long as I was holding on to those leaves, new leaves couldn’t grow. And as long as I was busy trying to mend those branches that broke off during the last storm, I couldn’t nurture those that were still there and I was causing serve damage to the roots in my life.

Here’s something to think about! Think about turmoil you would bring to your physical household if next fall instead of racking the leaves that have fallen from the trees in and around your yard to the curb to be picked up by the city, you bag them up and put them in a closet. Six months later someone opens that closet door and an awful stench fills the house and no one knows why. Those leaves have begun to rot and should be in a compost heap somewhere preparing to be a blessing to someones garden in the next stage of their life.

Our leaves begin to stink like that when we hold on to those leaves that have fall out of our lives. I’m not talking about physically holding on to these people, but mentally and emotionally holding on to them. They’ve gone on and found new friends, started families, and God knows what else. But you keep thinking about them and trying to pull them back into your life. I’ve been beating myself up over this issue longer then I can imagine right now. I’ve lost sleep, gained weigh, lost weigh, grew gray hair, and grind my teeth over people exiting – stage left – from my life for at least two years now. These are people that means the world to me and have held root system positions in my life when they were really branches that snapped when the storm became to rough. But the power of prayer have revealed some strong twenty-nine year roots that had been watering my soul. These are people that held leaf positions in my life or had every reason to stick to being branches.

Dwayne Woods said it best on PJ Morton’s song Let Go. We have to learn to let go and let God. God ordained people to enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. That person that was only suppose to come in for a moment to help you accomplish a goal or complete a task but we fell in love with them or had a kid by them. Or maybe that was your boy on the block that was put there to help you get through a difficult childhood now you’ve grown apart. Move on!

They’ve served their purpose in your life and apparently you’ve served your purpose in their life also. Stop wasting energy on those that are no longer there and focus on those that are here for a lifetime. Nurture and cultivate those roots and they will continue to be there to keep you grounded during the next storm.

“Life is like a stage play. We’re all actors. We all have our entrances and exits…” – Idlewild

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Toya S says:

    Wow, this really hit home with me. I have always loved that quote. I can relate to this topic on a personal level. I used to really struggle with letting people go, mainly because I felt like I owed them something. God has really helped me shake some leaves and cut some branches. And I have learned that by being obediant I will eventually be surrounded by some strong roots.

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