• Mark T. Whitten

Incremental Growth

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

The White Cedar is the slowest growing tree on earth.  It is not the tallest or the thickest tree in the forest.  In fact, it's kind of short and stunted compared to its brethren in the Northern forests of Canada due to the difficult growing conditions in which it is often found growing. However, the White Cedar is also the oldest tree in Canada and eastern North America; many live to be over 1,000 years old.  It's probably the wisest too. 

The White Cedar takes root in the rock of high places, where it finds protection from animals and wildfires.  The tree's taxonomy or official classification is thuga occidentalis, however its common name  is  Arbor vitae, or "tree of life" as it is commonly referred to, not only for its numerous medicinal properties but because of its "myriad of uses in both craft and construction". The tree of life is also known as the grandmother tree by the Chippewa nation because of her great age, strength, wisdom, and generosity.


So what?  It's a tree right?  What the heck does that have to with me? Arbor vitae is not just a tree, it's a prophetic witness to the PROCESS, PATIENCE, and WISDOM of our God.  We could stand to learn a few things from the grandmother tree as we seek to evaluate our lives for a higher purpose. Our microwave culture has conditioned us to be sloppy in our spiritual growth resulting in a sort of spiritual slothfulness that we Westerners like to call busyness. 


In dreaming big, let's not forget to take the tiny leaps...the small, daily commitments, day after day, year after year, that forge our character, focus our priorities and solidify our identities in God. I wrote a book about these very things.


Can we trust God to bring us into our destiny? Can He trust us to participate in process?


God is often later, but never late. You may feel like you've been hidden away, perhaps even forgotten, but remember, He knows where you live.


He is more than able to usher us into our destiny, but HIs chief concern is to conform us into the image of His Son. In the Kingdom, this often means staying small and growing slow, until we are forced into the higher seat of honor. If we neglect the incremental, we will sacrifice the dream.


Embrace the process and keep going! Think tree.


~Mark

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