While in Fort Wilderness, Alan and I were captivated by the abundant pine saplings flourishing around the feet of their towering parents. This was totally untrue of the mangroves. In fact, pine saplings—and not young mangroves—were growing up even around the roots of the mangroves! I never investigated to figure out the reasons, although I’m sure it probably has something to do with soil conditions, climate, water levels, hardiness of the 2 species…you know…all the usual suspects, as well as maybe other factors that I know nothing about, aren’t obvious, or are unique to this situation. But, what struck me was that the ground was covered by a soft layer of needles and cones, so whatever else was going on, the parent pines were doing a few things right: They were scattering lots of seed, they were growing straight and tall, and they were leaving plenty of room in the sun for their offspring.Just like these old pines, as we try to nurture our children, there are many things we can’t control. There are circumstances that are unique to our situation and variables that we can’t even understand. However, there are a few things we can do right: We can scatter abundant seeds of truth and leave a soft cushion for those who want to grow up near us; we can grow straight and tall ourselves; and, instead of casting dark shadows that shut out the Light, we can leave lots of room for the next generation to find their place in the Son!
“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table” (Psalm 128:3).