We were looking forward to getting back to our home in Indiana for the Christmas season. As an evangelist, I look forward to those times spent off the road with family and friends. Our last meeting was in northern Wisconsin the second week of December. Snow had already covered the ground, and temperatures were well below freezing. It was easy to get into the Christmas spirit.
A lady in the church approached us on Sunday night and asked about our plans for Christmas. She was excited to hear that we would be going home and informed us that her neighbor owned a Christmas tree farm. Upon learning that we had never cut down our own Christmas tree, she was more than willing to make the arrangements for us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience!
We actually got pretty excited about it, and when the day came, we bundled up and made the trek out into the woods to hunt for the perfect tree. It didn’t take us long to find the beautiful specimen that would look perfect in the bay window of our little house on Wellar Avenue in LaPorte, Indiana. We carefully cut the tree down and hauled it back to our trailer.
Upon our arrival, we dragged it inside and enjoyed the wonderful evergreen aroma that now dominated the air. The tree took up most of the space inside the trailer, but for the next few days, we managed to work around this new obstacle. Our dog, Scottie, was particularly annoyed by this intrusion into his space.
A week or so later we arrived at home and promptly began to set up our prized possession in the living room. To our surprise, the tree looked totally different in our bay window than it had appeared out in the wilderness. There were gaping holes everywhere, and its crooked trunk was a nightmare. The needles were already beginning to fall to the carpet (probably due to being in a propane-heated environment without water!).
Anyway, the tree was still special! We had cut it down ourselves! We did our best to decorate the tree and to convince ourselves that we had made a great choice, but in reality it was a huge disaster. Within a week we took it down and bought our first artificial tree!
The devil often tricks us into thinking we are choosing something really good from this world’s attractions. He is the master of making “trees” look good.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.—Genesis 3:6
Satan loves to decorate sin; but in reality, the basis of that allurement is crooked and the luster soon falls off like dry evergreen needles leaving us with a huge mess to deal with in our lives.
As illustrated by my personal Christmas tree disaster, let’s remember that making life’s choices with God’s guidance will save us from a life of disaster.