by Pastor Leo Launio
How do you survive when typhoon Ursula bombards you, when the ash fall from Taal Volcano suffocates you, and when the ground under your feet shakes you?
Many years ago, my family and I had the opportunity to visit the Sequoia National Park. During our visit, we’ve learned that some of the Sequoia trees are 3,500 years old, bringing us back all the way to the time of Moses. They are also one of the biggest and tallest trees in the world. Amazingly, Sequoia trees can withstand forest fires, strong winds, and diseases. What’s the secret?
There are three important characteristics that make the Sequoia trees thrive. First, they have thick skin that protects them from forest fires and diseases. Second, they grow in clusters. Third, their roots, although not deep, are intertwined together, allowing them to support each other from the onslaught of strong winds and other natural disasters.
In life, Sequoia trees can teach us some valuable lessons. They teach us the importance of a community where each person is supported and nourished by the group. They teach us the importance of being connected to each other. And finally, they teach us the value of developing a “thick skin” like perseverance, fortitude, and commitment to one’s goals and ambitions.
As we strolled along the park, admiring and learning about the Sequoia trees’ unique characteristics, one Bible verse came to my mind. In Psalm 1:1-3, David wrote:
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Blessings to all!