It was the extra noise that first alerted me to something happening. I looked out the front window and there was a large truck with a crane on top and a basket at the end of the crane. A man with a chain saw was high in the tree cutting. Another truck sat near by with a grinding machine on a trailer. Yet another truck was there was a stump grinder.
The machines revved up and before long, the tree began to be dismembered. Limb by limb it was cut apart, thrown into the grinder and was gone. In an hour and a half a tree that was probably 35 years old was gone. The stump was ground out, and the truck and the men vanished. I could not help but wonder about time. What took 35 years to grow and mature took 90 minutes to completely eliminate.
And I thought about how this works in other parts of life. You can take a life-time to build character and it doesn’t take that long for it to be destroyed. Friendships take a long time to build and just a few minutes to destroy. Marriages can take years to mature, year after year growing rings of story around a single core of commitment, but they can fall apart in just a few months of destructive behavior.
I am not sure what to make of this, except I know that building an institution of purpose or relationship is a long and arduous process and destroying one can happen in a heartbeat. Therefore, I guess the take-away from the disappearance of the 70 foot tree is that destruction is a lot easier than creation. And if we are thoughtful and caring people, we will steward well what has been created . We will be careful how we take care of it so as not to destroy the good in precipitous and thoughtless actions.