"A tree gives glory to God by being a tree."

Thomas Merton

Merton continues,

"The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him.

If it tried to be like something else which it was never intended to be, it would be less like God and therefore it would give Him less glory."

And one more thing:

"For me to be a saint means to be myself."

Ahhhhh .... Father Merton, your wisdom is deep.

What if the essence of life is to discover who we are meant to be and then - with God's help - to become that person?

What if it is as simple and as difficult as that?

When we feel shame about who we are it causes us to want to hide. To hide from God, from ourselves and from others.

When we hide, we don't bring God glory.

In fact, I think God weeps.

When we feel shame that we are who we are, rather than someone else, we don't bring God glory.

In fact, I think God weeps.

Shame is a liar or at least a bearer of dark half-truths. Shame steals life from our bones. Shame sucks oxygen out of our lungs. Shame makes our shoulders slump and dims the light in our eyes. Shame keeps us from giving glory to God.

Trees don't feel shame.

Look at this tall drink of water from my morning walk.

See how she stands lanky and proud, not giving a second thought to her scraggly frame or sparse boughs?

Look at the trees next time you take a walk: Fat trees, skinny trees, trees with broken limbs, half trees, shattered trees, trees with almost no leaves. No two the same.

Yet each one lifting their limbs to the heavens as if to say: "Glory to God! Glory to God! Glory to God!"

Take my favorite quote into your weekend. Let it make you grin.

Figure out what kind of tree you are and lift your weary limbs to the heavens because being enthusiastically yourself is a form of glory.

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree.