This morning I left the gym in Golden to catch yet another breath-stopping sunrise to the east. The Colorado sky seems to light up like a campfire of brilliant color each morning here. I feel like an ant in the middle of a field so expansive I can’t help but get lost. On the ridgeline of South Table Mountain I saw a backlit grove of trees standing tall like soldiers. Alone and proud, they guard the mountain that sits in our backyard.

My mind drifted to the soldiers stories. Once part of a large forest, they departed home to grow roots on this mountain. Their youthful seeds of life carried by the wind to their new home. Settling down in this new land they only had each other. Alone in the new land they clung to each other and hoped that it would all work out.

Their roots grew as their branches reached towards the sky above. Looking across the valley, they knew that they would have visitors. New friends would come and become like family. It would take time.

Then one day they had an old friend come visit. The wise old owl from their old forest came and sat on their branches.

“Hello old friends” he said. “I never told you this, but I am responsible for bringing you here.”

“We were wondering how we ended up here”, the soldiers responded

“I carried you here,” the wise owl said. “I planted you here. While the comforts of your old home were lush, now you have a perspective on the world that you never dreamt imaginable. You see every sunrise and sunset, you have a view that only the birds can see, and you have a purpose.”

“What’s our purpose?” The soldiers asked.

“To raise your branches towards heaven and worship. People will see you and notice your praise. They will then look inside and thank God they are alive.”

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Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

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