If I had to choose an inanimate object to be, I’d pick a pine cone.No, it’s not because pine cones are linked to Pine Trees, which are a symbol of my sorority, Tri Delta. It’s not even because they make great decoration that give off a shabby chic, naturistic feel. Before you write me off as crazy for writing about pine cones, just hear me out. A pine cone is more than just particulate matter that falls from trees; they represent life.
A little known fact of about pine cones, also known as conifer cones, is that there is actually a male and female differentiation. The male conifer releases pollen that fertilizes the female conifer, that in turn creates a seed inside of it. Eventually, the cone’s scales open and release the seed. Not every seed will actually survive the process to produce a tree. One unusual example that does create new trees, is a forest fire; the applied heat causes the pine cone’s scales to open and release the seeds. So, in the forest’s case, the fire is actually good, because it gives the ground a clean slate that actually grows back even more lush. It rids itself of all iniquities and recreates itself in a better form. In summary, when pine cones burn, its seeds are scattered and begin growing life once more.
This doesn’t mean to turn into a pyromaniac and go lighting everything up. How about looking at this from a Chrisitian’s perspective…how many times do we mess up and long to start over? Storms rage in our life, but with God, we can start over. He is our consuming fire that cleanses us and gives a new beginning. And like the forest comes back more beautiful, with Christ’s grace and forgiveness, we grow to be a more beautiful person because we have sloughed off the dead brush of our sin. When growing with Christ, we begin to show more love, forgiveness, and kindness. Do we mess up? Well yes; that’s only human. But, there’s a cleansing flame in Christ and He’s willing to rid you of your debts.
There is of course a downfall of being a pine cone…they don’t always do what they’re meant to do: produce a tree. As Christians, sometimes we can fall into a similar state. We become lukewarm and just go through the motions because we “don’t have time” to grow…. There are explanations for this, but I think a quote from a blog post on Harvard Business Review said it best
“Perhaps we are not so much caught in a ‘busy trap’, as a ‘meaning trap’. A meaningful life involves pursuing what we truly value, a sense of contribution in our work, as well as time outside of work to relax, enjoy hobbies, and spend time with loved ones.”
God is the one who gives meaning to our lives and gives us something to grow for. Is there anything in your life needing to be vanquished in His cleansing flame so you can plant meaningful seeds?
And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.