A recent Chicago Bears draft pick answered many questions for the news media but ultimately he said, “I’m going to do my best.” I thought, “Hmm. Simple, but powerful words.” I then thought of all of those who have come before us and all who have worked up to the end of their days trying to make a difference. They too gave their best
A long line of predecessors from all walks of life gave all they had until their tanks were empty, but each one made a determined effort to try to attack some of the ills of society. They may have been playing sports, singing, acting, dancing, writing or on the political stages. Yet, they wanted to eliminate some of the pain that they had either felt or witnessed or maybe they just wanted to be the first in some achievement.
Regardless of the motivation,they took swipes at the oak trying to tumble the trees of pride (haughtiness), greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony or sloth – the seven deadly sins (Proverbs). Many left here wondering if their lives’ efforts had even mattered because those trees still appeared to stand tall.
The other day, here in Chicago, there was a news story about a gigantic bur oak tree that stands in Lincoln Park Zoo.. It has been there since the beginning of Chicago’s founding. It even survived the Chicago Fire and other local catastrophes. It appeared to be in bloom, but guess what? It is coming down because in spite of its strong look, it’s dying.
Several onlookers stood there getting a last glimpse of the tree and its far-reaching branches. The horticulturalists have decided to bring it down because it could otherwise be a danger to the public. They have done the study and see that it is on its last leg and must sadly come down. On the positive side,they have many wonderful plans for the use of the bark and other parts of the tree to be used in key ways.
So, to those who have come before us that gave all that they had within their God-given ability to eradicate those things that are wrong in our society, it was not in vain. Those continuous swipes at the oak worked though it looked as if nothing was changing. They may have not lived to see the tree fall nor hear the shouts, “Timber!”
But, they now have a bird’s eye perch from high above and they can smile. They know that they gave their best during their allocated time and they can see things are getting better and better for those coming behind them!. And, they can rest assured that those pulling up the rear will also give their best!
April 29, 2023