Gift #182: Acorns

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs.  Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.”  — E.F. Shumacher

Whilst collecting acorns this fall, I’ve been searching for just the right quote for them – one that spoke of their quiet potential to greatness.  The essence of hope is contained in a seed; the promise of something greater than we can imagine.  An entire forest is hidden in that shell.  Likewise we are told that “God has planted eternity in the human heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT).  I love this quote for reminding me that God has the same plan for me as for the acorns – to turn me into a new creation, beyond what I could ever imagine on my own. 

Blessings to you,


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2 Responses to Gift #182: Acorns

  1. Larry says:

    Excellent! Here’s a question: “How many oak trees are there in one acorn?” Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat [or an acorn] falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me, and where I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” So a corollary question would be, “If my life is to grow and bear fruit for eternity, how do I imitate the acorn by “falling into the ground” and “dying?”

  2. Thanks for the comment Larry. I think you hit upon the million dollar question, and one which I’ve spent a long, long time pondering. I still don’t have a really good idea of what an average American life looks like dying to self and living for God. I’ve heard the analogy all my life and have been taught that’s what followers of Christ should do, but haven’t gotten much in the way of practical, day-to-day examples. One thing that has helped as I work through this truth is that seeds (or acorns) don’t do anything to become fruiting plants. They respond appropriately to their environment and their “internal hardware” transforms them. I think a lot of times we approach these sorts of questions in terms of “what do I do?” and that’s a much easier way of looking at things. But the problem with that question is it’s never enough. I’m becoming aware that it’s my “response to my environment” that is key. When I accept everything that happens to me as a gift from a loving God drawing me to holiness, I start to see life from His perspective. An attitude of surrender and thankfulness moves God into the center of my life just as sure as an attitude of entitlement and comfort-seeking keeps me bound in self-love. And then I can start seeing life as a series of opportunities to minister to others. So instead of grumbling about being stuck in traffic, I start to pray for those God lays on my heart. Instead of being impatient with needy coworkers, I start viewing it as an opportunity to extend love and kindess to them. Instead of being irritable about so many demands on my time, I rejoice that God given me people to love and ways to serve them. (these are all very personal examples, by the way – what God has been working in my heart about). I would welcome your thoughts on the topic.


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