treeHave you seen the movie, “The Lorax?”  I just watched it the other day.  If you’ve seen it, then you’ll remember the town of Thneadville that was made of plastic.  And you’ll remember how the people liked their plastic trees that were filled with air.  And that they had forgotten about real trees.  Ah, yes.  The real trees.

You see, there was once a beautiful land full of trees.  Then a well-meaning young man allowed people to cut down a few trees, but the people got a bit carried away.  You see, after a while they realized that all of the trees were cut down.  The Lorax tried to stop the people from cutting down the trees, but the people didn’t listen.  They did what they wanted to do.  And what was left wasn’t very pretty.  Just an expanse of land filled with tree stumps and, after everyone else left, one lonely young man.

Then we see Thneadville.  This town had no real trees.  The trees in this town were made of plastic and filled with air.  A man in that town had convinced everyone there that they didn’t want real trees, that the plastic trees were so much better.  This man knew that real trees were good for the people, but he didn’t care about the people.  He was getting rich by selling air to the people for their plastic trees.  And the people were enjoying the plastic trees, until they realized that real trees were actually good and better for them than plastic trees.  Who knew?

Well, that air salesman knew.  And he was very good at deceiving the people.

So here’s my thought.  What if we are being deceived?  What if someone wants us to cut down all of our “trees?”  To stop believing that God knows and wants what is best for us?  Whether we believe in God or not, what if we’re cutting down the trees of truth?

Is someone trying to sell us “air” today?  Not because it’s particularly good for us, but to keep us away from wanting what is good for us -the real trees, or real truth?  Are we believing lies about things that seem fine and good – like plastic trees – when really they are not good at all because we were meant to have real trees?

Our culture today tells our young people that purity isn’t that big of a deal.  That they should be able to do whatever they feel seems right at the time or to look at whatever they want and it won’t matter.  That seems like a plastic tree – something that sounds good, but isn’t really true.  After all, now we have many depressed teens and lots of diseases.  Maybe we shouldn’t have cut down that tree of truth about purity.  What if it really is the best thing for us after all?  God has made it very clear in His Word that purity is important.  Not to spoil anyone’s fun, but because it is good for us.  I think our young people are much smarter and more capable than our culture seems to believe today.

And what about marriage?  In the beginning God created a man and a woman and married them and told them to be fruitful and multiply.  Only one man and one woman together can do that.  Marriage requires one husband and one wife.  Are we filling up another plastic tree with air when we choose to redefine marriage?  How do you redefine a word anyway?  You can’t change what something is just because someone doesn’t happen to like it.  Words have meaning.  And so does marriage.  Or do we want to cut down another real tree and replace it with a plastic one that looks nice, but really is not what is best for us?  I have volunteered with kids for years and I have seen that children do best when they are raised in a home with a mom and a dad.

What about the godly heritage of our country?  Here in America many of our founding fathers believed in God and formed our government on biblical principles.  Look at what George Washington said on September 19, 1796:  “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.”  Today our nation is disregarding many of the “eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained” and I feel like we’ve been cutting down a lot of trees.

As in the movie, the people who cut down the trees meant no harm.  They were not evil people with ill-intent.  They were good people who truly thought they were doing something good.  Today I believe we are in that same situation.  Many well-meaning people are doing what they think is right.  But is it right to go against God?  Does He not know what is best for those He has created?  Are we unknowingly buying air that we don’t need just to fill up our plastic trees that we think will make us happy while what we really need is real trees, or real truth that never changes?

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10 NIV).  Will we continue to allow our “trees” to be stolen, killed and destroyed?  That young man in the movie that thought he was doing what was right and good was left all alone with tree stumps as far as the eye could see.  Will we believe a lie and just do what we want as he did and end up with something we didn’t expect or want or will we believe truth and have life to the full?

At the end of the movie the people learned about real trees and planted the last tree seed – and soon many trees grew.  What a beautiful sight the real trees were!  True trees standing for all to see and enjoy.  I want to see that, too.  Trees of truth so that we may have life to the full.  That will be beautiful!