True story: this past Christmas we purchased a tree that fell no less than 10 times and in the process, wounded a neighbor child and broken about a dozen ornaments.
I would be in the kitchen doing dishes and hear one of the girls scream, “IT FELL AGAIN!!!!” and I’d mumble under my breath, climb the stairs, tip it back into position and start the process of cleaning up the aftermath.
We tried dumbbells on the stand (I do not lie) and then finally decided to just lay it against the window until Todd got home from his tour in the hopes that he might have a better plan.
I decided to call our neighbors, who promptly came over to try and rescue the disaster, and after a few minutes of being bent-over laughing at how ridiculous the scene was, we got to work. Two of us laid under the tree and unscrewed it while the other held it upright. We figured if we could just get it straightened out, it would be fine.
We used pieces of wood to balance the stand, twisted the screws until our fingers were bruised, and moved ornaments to see if that would help.
Finally, after a good amount of effort and frustration, my neighbor said, “You know what? It’s the base. It’s not even the tree. The base is just too small and it can’t manage the tree.”
We looked at each other like he had just solved JFK’s murder.
We had been so busy worrying about the angle of the tree and cursing the tree dealer who OBVIOUSLY took us for a ride that we didn’t consider the one glaringly obvious issue:
The foundation couldn’t handle the weight.
And I wonder where you might need to ask that question in your own life. What is it that you’ve been staring at, wrestling with, manipulating and growing hopeless over without realizing you are focused on the wrong problem?
If we don’t have the proper foundation, we will never be able to appreciate the gifts He has given us.
Make it a point to steady yourself in His word and prepare your heart and your mind for what you’re facing.
And once you have, I daresay you might step back and smile the way we did when we replaced the silly contraption.
It was, after all, a more beautiful tree than any of us could have imagined.