The tree that fell the wrong way

June 30, 2016 | 32 comments


Sometimes, outcomes in life don’t occur the way we expected. In fact, sometimes they occur exactly the opposite way we had anticipated. What then? Do we give up? Do we throw up our hands in despair and walk away?
Last week, I had an 80-foot-tall dead tree I needed to cut down before it fell on a cabin my family visits in the winter.
I got out my chainsaw, and after thoroughly studying the angle of the tree along with my wife to decide which way to drop it, I started to saw.
It was a bit breezy that day, but nothing I worried about.
However, after I cut the V out of the side of the tree that I expected the tree to fall toward, and then the upper cut on the other side to allow the tree to topple, the wind gusted a bit and swayed the top of the tree in the opposite direction that I wanted. The weight of the trunk crushed my chainsaw blade and locked it up. I could saw no more. I had only an inch or more to go. But the tree was leaning in the wrong direction anyway. This was a disaster.
There I stood feeling completely helpless to do anything. I had eighty feet of lumber teetering over my head with a 2 by 2-inch segment of uncut wood holding it in place to the stump. It looked like it could fall in any direction at any moment. Which would be fine in the middle of the forest, but I wasn’t in the middle of the forest. There were two cabins in spitting distance, one on either side of this tree.
My heart about stopped. This was not what I had expected! In fact, exactly the opposite.
Feeling utterly out of control, I told God that this was all in His hands now. There was nothing I could see to do. I told Him (haha) that He needed to make the wind go in a different direction, or use the forces of Mind to topple that tree so that it didn’t destroy one of the cabins. It’s not a habit of mine to tell God what to do, but I was a bit panicked and desperate there for a moment.
I shut down the fear factory in my mind, and prayed. I got super humble, and found quick peace that God would figure this out. God knew what to do and would reveal a plan to us.
My wife and I listened together for guidance.
The tree that fell the wrong way PICPin
It took 15 minutes of listening before we heard an idea that felt safe for me to do. The whole time, the tree teetered on the stump like a toothpick standing on the head of a pin. From a physical perspective, the condition appeared beyond precarious and dangerous. But to spiritual sense, God was in control, I felt, holding that tree up until it could be brought down properly.
I got another saw, and with another prayer to God for safety and wisdom to do the right thing, I bent over, looked into the V I had already sawed, and cut less than a ½” out in one particular place that seemed to be just the right place to cut.
Craaaaack, down went the tree with a huge BOOM. It missed both cabins, landed in a safe place, and Kathy and I were dancing a jig that everything turned out okay. And we were so grateful to God for guiding us through that tense experience.

Aside from learning that one should never saw a tree down if there is a breeze, I also learned the spiritual lesson that when conditions turn out exactly the opposite of what you expect, the outcome can still be good. We have to drop all our preformed thoughts, drop all condemnation and criticism for “doing the wrong thing,” and open to God’s guidance. God is forgiving and understanding, and always has a solution. With divine help, a positive outcome is still possible.
So, if anything is turning out exactly the opposite from what you expected in your life, you too can let go of all your preformed expectations, and open to new possibilities that you never considered. God perhaps has a better plan than you ever dreamed. But no matter what, God has a solution to the problem you face. Clear your mind and let His plan reveal itself.
Pray, listen, and follow. You’ll know what to do. And your “teetering tree” will fall in a safe place too.

32 thoughts on “The tree that fell the wrong way”

  1. Thanks Evan! That message is so inspiring and thanks for including the photo! I am mentally imagining you and Kathy dancing a jig, which is a great image to carry with me today.

  2. Love this Evan…what a great testimony and inspired response to being in a ” pickle”. ….dancing a jig with ya too!

  3. I was inspired by God to Google your site, SpiritView, this morning. I was struggling with a heavy weight that something had not turned out the way I expected yesterday. And then God answered my prayer in your post today. Thank you ever so much!

  4. What a wonderful demonstration of Trust. I have had many teetering trees in my lifetime, but they all have worked out also. What a great feeling of exhilaration when the seeming problem is conquered! Thank you for sharing this with us, Evan

  5. Having lived in NE Minnesota for most of my life, I know about this tree teetering very well. I am so thankful for learning God’s Plan is always in tact for us , especially when the winds blow on our woods and trees . Grateful for your loving testimony and safety in our Father’s unfolding glory–Merri

  6. So grateful for this demonstration!! Yay and double yay, jig dance and sticking the landing!!! Been thinking for a couple of weeks about “disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be.” (p 397:17 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy). Thank you for another proof that we are working with divine law. Thank you God.

  7. A most rewarding Divine guidance in demonstrating a call for spiritual thinking.

    Glad to hear how much we can count on God in a time of need.

  8. So Inspiring! Thank you for your willingness and humbleness to share this with All of Us, Evan! One of the most important points for me is……not to get into self-condemnation when we make a “mistake”. God is still there to see us through, so we must first drop the fear and condemnation and guilt and go forward with confidence in God’s ever-present help! Hooray!!

  9. This blog reminded me of SECT 2 of this weeks Bible Lesson about Elijah being Jealous. Jealous of what, I asked myself. Of protection? How could any one be jealous of protection? Then the thought came to me that the original meaning, not used today was being vigilant, protecting his realization of God’s protective powers against false beliefs and the hearing of the still small voice in this protection. THINK ABOUT IT. It’s quite a different view.

  10. Thanks, Evan, for just inspiration I needed this morning. Solutions to our problems don’t always work out the way we would like. But God’s plan is ALWAYS right and the best.

  11. Wow! What a clear demonstration of God’s absolute control of any situation, if we just hold and listen. Love the picture!

    That it took “15 minutes of listening before we heard an idea that felt safe for me to do” shows that time is irrelevant to God. As if it stopped, with the tree balanced, until the right idea was presented. Such faith and humility!

    I learned this (again!) recently when I hurried something because of anxiety. I was praying but it seemed to get worse, so I submitted paperwork that wasn’t my very best. Afterwards, I was really upset that I had acted so impatiently, but with more humble, dedicated prayer, I was content to know that God has things under control, and the outcome (still to be determined) will be according to God’s plan, no matter how I messed up.

    This doesn’t mean I can go around doing stupid things indiscriminately, expecting God will clean up my mess. This was a right activity — it’s that I could have done my better best had I waited on God, instead of accepting that I could miss out if I didn’t act Right Now! The immediate outcome was the obvious lesson: to humbly wait on God, infinite Mind, and not to worry about time passing. Everything flows harmoniously in eternity and “timing” –the right idea unfolding in our thought– not time, is God’s.

    Thank you Evan~

  12. Great example. Thank you for sharing all the insight. With two teenagers, at home, your demonstration shines the brightest light on how to throw all my confidence, prayers, and humble listening to God and His law. To see and demonstrate what He has in store. Thank you for the image, worth a 1000 words.

  13. Evan, I love the way you break down situations so we can relate to the more habitual thoughts and feelings we all experience and then explain how to ‘slow down – turn around” and follow the new thought. To me that’s a sign of a wonderful teacher. This goes right up there with the Prodigal Son in my journal of “most helpful lessons”. Thank you!

  14. This is a great lesson on the power of prayer. It reminds me of Pierre Pradervand’s wonderful video (and book of the same name), “The Gentle Art of Blessing”, where Pierre states “when something goes completely askew in your day … burst into blessing”. ( I believe that blessing someone or some situation is a form of prayer.)
    You can watch his beautiful video here:
    Beautiful book, too. The words to the video (and the basis of the book) were published in the Sentinal of December 20, 1999.
    Thank you, Evan, for once again showing us the might and power of God, Good.

  15. Thank you Evan and thank you Tobias for this enlightenment on the older meaning of jealous. I, too, wondered about that
    . I’ve shared your meaning with several church membersrs who have asked me to pass on their thanks as it has helped them in getting a better understanding of this passage also.

  16. Hello dear Evan and thank you for your wonderful blog. Truly God is always working for us.
    A while ago I set out to be in a certain place at a set time.
    My son-in-law had backed my car into the garage all ready for me to drive off when I needed to.
    When ready I got into the car, started the engine, but I couldn’t release the handbrake. I tried and tried but no joy. I got out and prayed rejoicing in God’s eternal power and presence.I tried to make my departure again but still no success. Got out again knowing God’s absolute control..The thought came to me to get in the passenger seat and then I could use my right hand. I did this. With little effort the brake released and I took off praising God . He’s that ever-present help.
    Thank you to all who have contributed to our communication with each other today.

  17. thank you very much für sharing wih us your precious testimony. I only had time to read your SpiritView in the evening at midnight German time, that might be about 5 o`clock p.m. eastcoast Amerikan time.
    Am so grateful for the metaphysics in the testimony, which is so simple – just to trust God and his loving care for us in every situation.
    In the afternoon I had a situation which made me very excited; but after nothing helped what I tried to fix the situation, I calmed down and listened to God what to do. The Situation had to do with the internet and my telephone. When I was quiet after prayer, I looked again into my internet and found the solution, so that telephone and internet are now functioning properly. I was so grateful for that, and when I read your todays SpiritView I was double grateful for your so inspiring and lovely testimony!

    1. Well, I’m not too sure about the experienced part! Looks like I could use a little bit more…chuckles.

  18. Evan, sharing your own step-by-step process in working out a solution to a seeming problem is so helpful. Thank you. Yes, the Daily lift is in sync with this. Tobias thank you for shring what you learned about the word jealous – very helpful, All comments were great.

  19. Great spiritual lesson.

    A tip from a forester. On your next tree put a wedge in behind your saw blade on the back cut to stop the tree from rocking back and pinching the blade. A few taps on the wedge with your axe will encourage the tree in the right direction.

    1. Hey, thanks for the tip! I waited too long to put the wedge in. I will get it right next time! Thanks.

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