By the late Pastor Bob Moody

When I came to my church 22 years ago, there was an oak tree and a pine tree on the south end of the church. Neither was all that tall. While they were not touching, it was obvious they would eventually grow into each other. I decided to wait on cutting them down until I saw which would actually survive. Like a lot of things in life, I forgot about my original plan.

Today, these two trees are maturing. They are both about thirty feet tall. The oak now produces acorns and the pine has grown into a dense evergreen. The two tree look very good standing there together. They have grown so much into each other if I were to cut either of them down, the remaining tree would appear very misshapen. Some might argue I should have cut one down before this happened. However, the relationship between these two trees has produced a very interesting situation. The oak tree provides acorns to squirrels and blue jays. If these critters stayed in the spreading, open branches of the oak, roving hawks will pick them off. These little guys grab an acorn and simply jump into the thick pine branches where they are safe from everyone who wants to make them lunch. The pine’s branches also protect them from the elements.

Marriages are often like those two trees. Two totally different people bring completely different strengths and weaknesses to the table. Yet between them, they grow into a team which can effectively raise little children into mature Christians. 

Churches are much the same. God brings together people who might stand out alone and melds them into something looking totally different and frankly might not look as good as one person out on their own. However, in that melding process, awesome ministry takes place.

The next time you feel inhibited by someone else’s presence or ministry, step back see if God hasn’t brought you together for a singular purpose. Remember, we are all different, but we all have one mission.

Father, help me to see that beauty and success are not in appearances, but in relationships.

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at


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