The Mighty Oak and the Fire Ant

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The Mighty Oak and the Fire Ant

Welcome to Christianity Oasis. This is The Mighty Oak and the Fire Ant from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh Collection. We hope you enjoy this enlightening reading and it helps you on your own be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh

The Mighty Oak Tree and the Fire Ant

Written by Luz Leigh 26 June 2007

In the year of our Lord 2005, in the wee hours of the morning one spring day, a huge oak tree fell. Yes, it just fell. There was no strong wind; nothing pushed against it with great might. While my son slept about twenty feet away, the tree toppled over, away from the house. That was a blessing from the Lord, for you see, had it fallen to the south or west all or a portion of that mighty tree would have crushed the house.

My son remembered hearing a noise, but not anything loud enough to completely awaken him. Only when the police dispatcher called him to ask if he knew his tree was blocking the street in front of his home, did he know the tree had fallen.

He asked if the tree was on the street; well, yes, the young dispatcher replied. In a manner quite like him, he jokingly said, "Then the problem seemed to be the highway department's problem, not mine." He laughed and hung up the phone. The dispatcher was accustomed to his jovial manner. He knew what had to be done, and dressing quickly, he prepared for the task ahead.

He got his chain saw and began trimming as many of the limbs as he could. It was a long tedious job, but before sunrise when traffic would begin to flow on the street, he had most of the limbs pushed to the edge of the road.

That tree had been a part of my life for thirty-five years, so he called as soon as he knew I would be awake to tell me about the fallen tree. My son lives on the family home place where I was born and lived until I was thirty-five years old. I am a sentimentalist. I cried over the news and then I got in my car and drove up the street to view the mess that nature had left in his yard.

Upon inspection, and with knowledge more than I possess, someone determined that fire ants had invaded the base of that mighty oak and caused its demise. We had received some heavy rains a few days prior to this, so with the saturated ground and the dead roots, the tree could no longer stand. The Lord allowed her to lie down in the middle of the night when there was no traffic on the street. No one was harmed and the bulk of the upper portion of the tree was removed so it would not create a traffic hazard for those folks who travel at an early morning hour.

Within a few days a man who collects firewood came to cut the tree limbs into manageable lengths and haul it away. Later another man came to cut and split the huge trunk. At last all that was left was the huge base of the tree, with its roots completely exposed. It was a sad sight.

It was determined by a friend of ours, who has been in the forestry industry for many years, that the best estimate as to the age of the oak was one hundred and eighty years. That tells me the tree was here before the fall of the Alamo, before Texas became a state, before my ancestors arrived in Texas from England via South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. That mighty oak was providing shade even before the War Between the States. It was a large tree by the time my daddy was born. He chose to build his home next to it. There are two other oak trees still standing nearby that were there when the house was built, one of them even larger in circumference than the one that fell.

Know what I'm trying to say about all this? That tree had withstood hurricane force winds, seasons of drought, freezing temperatures and even a few snowfalls, not to mention our very hot summers. And then a few years ago, the detestable fire ant arrived in our area. That creature of nuisance took over the base of the mighty oak, and without our knowing it, began to kill our precious tree. The tree I played under as a child; the tree my children played under. The one that gave shade to our home from early morning until late in the afternoon. It is scary to think about how many other trees the fire ants have already destroyed and the ones that will be taken in the future.

Although it broke my heart to watch as the tree lay on the ground, and then as the men began to saw it into pieces, I tried to console myself with the thought that someone would be using the firewood that winter for warmth. You see, I am an optimist; I look for the good in every situation. I was thankful the tree fell in the direction it did so as not to do harm to my son or to his home; thankful it fell in the middle of the night so no harm came to those who travel the street and thankful for the men who took the tree away to be used by others.

Just as the fire ant invaded the tree, so sin can invade our lives. An ant is a tiny insect, but working within the colony, it is a dangerous threat. Small sins many not seem to be much of a threat to our lives, but sin is like the fire ant; it does not work alone. It brings its family, its buddies. If we do not root out that first sin, our lives can be taken over by it and we, like the majestic oak tree, will die. Not just a physical death, but if we are not a child of the Lord, then we will face a spiritual death for all eternity. As Christians, sin that creeps into our lives will cause our witness for the Lord to be weakened. So at the first sign of a "spiritual fire ant" in our lives, we must rid ourselves of it.

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