Thursday, December 21, 2006

moving trees

near where we live there is a university that is always under construction. in the last few years they have spent millions of dollars (probably out of our pocket) on new classroom buildings, new student housing, a convocation center, a new fine arts center and many other projects. they have crossed one of the main roads of our city and added more student housing and even a few businesses including a panera bread co. (which is now our new breakfast spot) with so much change and construction the landscape has changed dramatically. for instance shoe lane at one time crossed through the campus to the neighborhood behind the school, but not anymore. they have completely eliminated one end of the street so that students can get to that end of the campus without having to cross a street. you can't even tell there once was a street there. they have completely covered the road and planted grass.

as you can imagine the roads around this area are also under major construction. not only did one street disappear completely, but they are now in the middle of a widening project that has displaced many local businesses, and an old church building. i guess the old adage "you can't fight city hall" is still appropriate. during all this upheaval some local environmentalist petitioned the city to save some old oak trees that would need to be removed for another portion of the road project. i don't know the details, but it was in the local paper for a few months until they came upon this compromise, the city would raise money to transplant those trees about fifty feet back from the road and out of the way of the new turning lane. (the irony of it all is that real living people with businesses and church buildings in the way got the shaft, but the trees get transplanted at the city's expense) so over the last year or so they have been working on moving these trees. it's silly to me, but whatever. i'm not insensitive to our environment, but it's silly. they first trimmed back a couple of the trees and then dug a big trench down into the root system. after several months a couple of the trees were moved away from the road. the only problem is at least one of those trees died after the move. i guess it's costly and not so easy to move trees.

in the bible, in the book of genesis, God created man and woman (adam and eve) and placed them in the garden of eden. from the description in genesis chapter two this must have been a great place. the bible says that God "planted a garden." it must have been magnificent, a place full of wonder and awe and it was all for adam and eve's enjoyment. there was a river that flowed from eden and it watered the garden and right in the middle there were a couple trees. actually there were probably many trees all over the garden, but in particular God placed two trees there in the middle. one was the tree of life the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. the bible says that both of these trees produced fruit that was good to eat, except God asked adam and eve not to eat from the second tree. well, adam and eve after being tempted by satan did eat from that forbidden tree and they became very aware of themselves. they now were aware of good and evil. they even tried to hide from God. because they did not listen to God they were punished in several ways, but the most dreadful thing that happened was they were cast out of the garden of eden. more importantly they were "not allowed to reach out their hand and take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

on the other end of the bible in the book of revelation there is another reference to the tree of life:

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be an curse." (Revelation 22:1-3)

the language here seems to indicate that this is the same tree that was in the garden. so my hope is that one day i can walk that street and eat from the fruit of that tree and there i can have live forever. galatians 3 says:

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.' He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

i guess it's costly and not so easy to move trees.

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