Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Friend (Root) Forever

I’m still reeling with laughter from having recently watched Tyler Perry’s Madea goes to Jail. Interspersed between the humor and inimitable rhetoric of every one of his plays (that I’ve seen), are succinct spiritual messages that encourage us to live our lives effectively as well as recognize the value of relationships. While there were numerous moral messages in the play, the one that got my attention the most was ‘hidden’ at the end when Madea was speaking with the 16-year-old girl for whom she was providing temporary custody while her mother served out a prison term. Madea compared relationships to a tree. Wow! I’ve heard lots of analogies, and I’ve heard relationships likened to so many different things… but a tree? That’s how engaging the writing of the Madea scripts can be! Here’s how she expressed it (the following are my words but Madea’s ideas):

Some relationships are like the leaves on a tree. They are unstable and unreliable. Blowing this way and that with every wind of circumstance, these relationships tend not to last. Like leaves on a tree, that are constantly blown this way and that in the wind, they eventually fall off and then wither and die. Other relationships are like the branches of a tree. They are attached to the trunk and can typically withstand the wind. But, put under enough pressure from bearing a load, they will often bend and break. Like the branches of a tree, certain relationships often can’t withstand the weight of pressure that might be brought to bear on them as a result of life’s influences.

Finally, there are the relationships that are like the roots of a tree. Firm and solid, they run deep into the ground and withstand the pressure of any wind of change. Long after the leaves have withered, and the branches have snapped, the ‘root’ relationships are still standing. I have walked through circumstances in my life that have revealed all three levels of relationship. It is my fervent prayer that, as I become more like Jesus, I will be the kind of friend that always represents the roots. What kind of friend are you? What kind of experiences have you had? Care to share?

4 comments:

joey said...

That's a great analogy we can apply to any relationship.

Joseph said...

Too true Joey. Now, armed with this knowledge, if we can all learn to apply ourselves to our different relationships, we are more likely to develop them into root relationships.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joseph! This is great stuff! You could take your analogy one step further that even if the tree is cut down, it is almost impossible to get rid of the root system. (having experienced that in the real world). As you know a true friend is one that is there no matter what the circumstances. I repeat, no matter what the circumstances. I only wish that more people would understand that in their relationship with God. That no matter what the circumstances, He is always there. Your blog reminded me of some lyrics from a Harry Chapin song "old friends-they mean much more to me than a new friend cause they can see where you are and they know where you've been." It's unfortunate that we don't have more root friends. I personally probably have 5 of those. But I also have the most important One.

By the way, my favorite dessert is an icecream snickers bar right after a lobster & steak dinner. Unfortunately, not having much of the latter, during this season. God Bless & love to Sola & the kids!

Russ

Joseph said...

Russell,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject of relationships. I value my root friends and pray that I am a root friend to a few people too.

I'll let you get away with posting a single reply to two different posts this time, but next time you have to post replies on the two different posts you're responding to.:)

Now you've gone and made me all hungry for some New England steamers and some 'surf and turf.' I guess you're just going to have to have Sola and I over again really soon. We love you guys too!