From Sapling to Sage

Five years ago this summer, when we moved into our new home outside of Nashville, my wife planted six Leyland Cypress trees, a native evergreen seen throughout Tennessee. Purchased at Lowe’s, the root balls were in 3-gallon buckets and they were around three to four feet tall, maybe a foot and a half wide. They cost around $18 each. Since fences aren’t the norm here, she lined them equidistant down our backyard boundary line to create a border in the yard.

Because we get enough rain here throughout the year, we didn’t do anything to them or for them. No extra water, no fertilizer.

Today, those trees are about 15 feet tall and at least six feet wide. The distance between them in their first year, you could drive a car through. Today, I do good to get the mower between them.

The one and only element utilized to get those trees from $18 saplings to $300 evergreens was time. Time. Good, old-fashioned, waiting, living, watching, give-them-some time.

In our younger days, we want qualities and characteristics like integrity, wisdom, and self-control NOW. So often we fake it. Our mouth speaks of it while our lives don’t show it.

Because the only thing that will grow us from $18 saplings to $300 evergreens is time.

Time spent in daily, daily, daily, sometimes hourly, obedience. Living intentionally. Making the tough decisions that no one will see every day to build godly character. When everyone else does, we have to say no. When everyone else refuses, we have to say yes.

You want to be known as having integrity?

You want to be known as having wisdom?

You want to be known for self-control and discipline?

Make the next right decision and give your life some time. Time.

No matter how fast the world gets, wisdom and integrity will always and only be built over … time.


With wisdom a house is built.

With understanding it is established.

With knowledge its rooms are filled

with every kind of riches, both precious and pleasant.

A strong man knows how to use his strength. —Proverbs 24:3-5 GW

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