“Is it time yet?” I can’t tell you how often I have heard those words over the years after having raised four children who were always interested in knowing when the “time” was coming that they were anticipating. Whether that be reaching the campsite where we would spend our vacation or when the appointed time was coming to open Christmas gifts, it was an oft-repeated phrase around the Brunner house. “Is it time yet?”
I remember many years ago when Rachel, our second oldest, was helping me transplant small maple trees in our side yard. Given that she was only five years old, she could not handle the shovel or transport the trees. Since I really wanted her to be a part of the process so that some day she could come back home and say, “I helped Dad plant that tree!”, I felt it necessary to give her some task that could be deemed responsible while yet being doable for a little girl of five. When we made it out to the shed where the shovels were stored, she asked if she could help me dig. “No.” I said. “Tell you what. You can help me water every tree that we plant. How would that be?” She liked that idea. The watering can was a plastic one and she didn’t have to fill it full. She could probably handle that.
So off we went into our woods to find just the right maples that could be transplanted out into the front yard. Finally we found a small one, no bigger than four feet high. It was just about the size of Rachel and she became excited. “Should we dig this one Daddy?” As I began to dig, I could tell that she was getting antsy. She started to ask me how long it would take and how deep I would have to dig. Finally, forgetting completely about the transplanting, she asked, “Can I water it now?” “No!” I said. “I have to dig it out first and put it in another hole. Then you can water it.”
After about ten minutes or so, the root ball extracted, I picked up the little tree and Rachel and I trudged over to the front yard to find just the right spot for tree number one. Spot selected, I started digging the planting hole for the little tree. I had laid the little maple down next to the spot and within but a few minutes I heard sprinkles behind me. Rachel was watering the tree despite the fact it was not in the ground yet. “Not yet, honey. First let me get the tree in the hole.” I went back to my digging. Finally she helped me lift it into the hole. “Can I water it now?” she pleaded. “No, not yet. First let Daddy put some earth around the roots and pack it in. Then you can water it.” Finally, ground in place, Rachel watered her tree.
We transplanted six trees that fall afternoon. And the ritual of premature watering repeated itself as each tree was pulled from the ground, lifted into the hold and packed down tight. “Is it time yet?” It was repeated often that afternoon. To this day I am certain that the reason each one of those maples is doing so well today is that a little girl of five blessed each one of them with an abundance of water whether they wanted it or not.
Time. As children we have a very difficult time understanding the concept of now and later. Time is always now when we are children. Later is not a concept that we either care about or really even grasp. Children live in the now and have little understanding of the later. Because of their limited comprehension of the concept of time, children find it difficult to work within the bounds that we adults set on it. “It’s time for bed!” We call out as the evening slips into night. But to a child it is only ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Tony Miano on Dec 8, 2000
“On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., broke the baseball record that many believed would never be broken: Lou Gehrig’s iron-man feat of playing in 2,131 consecutive games. Ripken gives much of the credit for his accomplishments to the example and teaching of his father Cal Ripken, ...read more
Contributed by David Browne on Dec 9, 2000
On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by his family so that ...read more
Contributed by Tim Zingale on Dec 11, 2000
"a rabbi and soap maker who went for a walk together. The soap maker had some negative things to say about religion: "What good is religion? Just look around you. what do you see? Trouble, misery, wars - even after all these years and years of preaching and teaching about goodness, truth, peace. ...read more
Contributed by Steve Hanchett on Dec 13, 2000
It was a mild October afternoon in 1982 and Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin was packed. Over 60,000 die-hard University of Wisconsin fans were watching their beloved football team take a beating by Michigan State. What seemed odd was that as the score became more and more lopsided bursts of ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Oct 18, 2000
The Moravian Brethren, 200 years ago, formed one of the greatest missionary movements. Two of their members heard of a leper colony in Africa where no missionary was allowed to enter and then return home for fear that the disease might spread in Germany. They volunteered to go into that leper ...read more