Last week, we took a trip up to Northern California and spent some time wandering around the redwoods.

Besides their beauty and the sheer magnitude of these monstrous trees, it made me think of things that grow and flourish and last, even in a world of constant change.

We spent the better part of a day visiting the Armstrong Redwoods, a natural reserve located outside the city of Santa Rosa.

In the middle of these giants we walked back and forth, quietly pacing and listening and breathing deep breaths.

The trees have this calming effect. When you’re in the middle of the forest, silence has a way of taking over. Shadows stretched all around us, only interrupted by tiny shards of sunlight that occasionally peeked through the uttermost leaves.

Every few moments, I found myself craning my neck to gaze to the top of these leafy skyscrapers. Many of these beauties have been around for hundreds and thousands of years. They’ve just been here, growing year by year.

In world where we often marvel at the latest and greatest, treating most things and products like temporary items, it’s refreshing to see something that has lasted.

The redwoods also reminded me of perspective.

Taking time to recognize where we are and what we have is a good practice.

Taking time to simply be present–instead of constantly connected–is a tough, but important challenge.

I heard someone recently describe our culture with one word: Distracted.

We are so caught up in everything that is happening around us from social media, to instant news, to the unveiling of new products.

Some of us, perhaps, have forgotten what it means to be present without distractions.

The phone has become another one of our senses, almost surgically attached to our person. The clarion call of Facebook and Instagram keep us scrolling and liking and commenting and incessantly checking.

Amongst the redwoods, I didn’t care much about what was happening outside of where I was.

For in that moment, I was in awe of something old and seemingly infinite, something captivating and grander than I could have imagined.

Sometimes we get so caught in what we’re going to do, that we forget to think about who we’re going to be.

The redwoods reminded me to think about the big picture, to fix my gaze outside of my scope of reality and all things that I find myself so busy to accomplish.

There are moments where I just need to be… and breathe… and that is enough.

Perhaps we’ll learn to be like redwoods–solid and unmoved by the changing of time. Consistent and set on remaining unfettered by the world around us, tied to who we are and where we’re going.

I want to be like a redwood in that sense–to be a person who is resolute in who they are and what they’re set on doing. I want to grow deep roots that keep me steady. And I want to remember to simply be.

Time will continue to roll forward, ever-changing and expanding. This is all well and good because we were created to change.

But let us also hold onto what is good and true and constant.

Let us be willing to grow deep roots.

As the psalmist says, let us be like trees planted by streams of water.

And let us remember that some things are meant to last.

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