Many great stories come from humble beginnings. For Roy Hobbs in the movie version of The Natural, his journey begins at the base of the tree in the front yard of his farm. It was there that his father died of a heart attack. It was also there that a lightning bolt struck and split that tree, exposing the wood to draw Roy into creating his bat Wonderboy from the core of the trunk. The humble beginnings on the farm at the base of this tree served as the started point for Roy Hobbs and his incredible journey.
For the next few weeks, I’ll be walking the Bottom of the Ninth readers through The Natural and the spiritual journey of Roy Hobbs. This journey archetype has been deeply impactful on my life and I’m hopeful that it will bless many others. But for this week, there’s another journey that also starts with a tree.
We’re all coming off of the Easter holiday with a full recognition that Jesus Christ died on a cross. In Acts 5:29-30, Peter and the apostles explain, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross.” The Greek for “on a cross” here means “on a tree.” Why is this important?
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says, “If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree, the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God.” Though Paul attempts to explain how Christ became the curse for us in Galatians 3:13, it seems obvious to me that anyone who knew Scripture at the time of Christ’s death would have difficulty accepting Jesus as “the way” when He was so obviously cursed in His death. It’s what makes Paul’s letter and thought so important.
Have you taken the time to understand the objections to faith of your teammates, team members, or those close to you? I wonder sometimes if we want faith to grow like a weed instead of like a tree. Trees don’t grow overnight. Trees represent the long term. This is how we should view our walk with others in faith. Roy Hobbs’ baseball career did not grow like a weed, it grew like a well-weathered tree. May we all take this long view of our lives and of our impact on others.