Have a Sycamore, Be a Sycamore

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Most of us are familiar with the narrative of Zaccheaus – the man of small stature who risked humiliation to see Jesus, by climbing a sycamore tree (Luke 19:1-10).

There are entire sermons spoken on those 10 verses – mostly about the character of Zaccheaus and his amazing transformation. However, there is another, equally as powerful presence – the sycamore tree.

Now, you might think like I did originally: “What’s the big deal? It’s just a tree?” Once I looked past that surface assessment though, I began to realize what an integral part of the picture that tree really is.

We recently had a teaching series at my church called “Have a mentor, Be a Mentor.” The title was pretty self-explanatory and the series taught all about different ways this could be accomplished. Well, I was overwhelmed by it. I have never felt qualified to mentor someone – not wise enough or knowledgeable enough to be of any help to them.

When I pondered the significance of the sycamore tree, however, I realized I was wrong. That tree, in a sense, was Zaccheaus’ mentor. It was the means by which he was able to draw near to Jesus. It didn’t offer wise insight or supernatural intuition – it’s only role was simply to be there, in the moment, and provide the support from which Zaccheaus could reach out to discover Jesus.

If all it takes to be a mentor is just to be there and offer some support, like that sycamore tree did, then we are all qualified mentors as long as we are willing. I’m not saying that our bark won’t get scuffed and our leaves won’t get a little tattered, but don’t underestimate the power of your willingness to simply be present. If being a mentor is too overwhelming, be a sycamore instead.

 ~Timothy

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