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Can You See The Giant Oak in an Acorn ? Commentary on John Leax's Sabbitical Journey on Stewardship

Updated on October 23, 2012

Can you see the Giant Oak in the Acorn?

Stewardship is Nature's Policy: Can you see mighty oak was once an acorn. But who can see an oak in an acorn? Only unto death the acorn becomes the oak, to aga

What does Stewardship it mean? Why is it so important? From a Christian perspective the author John Leax answers these questions in the Sabbatical Journal which serves as witness to his own process of discovering true stewardship and dying to oneself found in the book, Grace is Where I Live. Leax sought a deeper purpose of his vocational calling as a writer while on sabbatical leave as a university literary professor. This personal journey led Leax to a place deep within where custody of the original child God created him to be was regained. While sharing this internal adventure with Leax, the journey allows us to share his personal discovery and the process of silent listening where we too can regain custody of the lost child within. As Leax reconnected with creation and its creator, he found a deeper spiritual maturity in the process of dying to oneself as well as the resurrection of the new child he was once created to become.

Leax realized that to fulfill the purposes of his life his personal ambitions

and striving as an author/poet had to be crucified so that God’s will could be fully realized––just like a seed that falls to the ground and dies to birth new life in resurrection.Leax wanted freedom to serve humanity; fully living in relationship with the planet. Leax intuitively knew that God’s purpose was effectively choked by the weeds of professional ambition and striving as a writer seeking personal recognition and achievement. As he secluded himself in a cabin located in the Genesee Valley of Western New York, he communed daily with creation. Stilled; he begun hearing the internal voice from his silenced heart while immersed in the river of holy rest that only flows from the throne of God and amidst creation itself. In that place of communion, Leax discovered and identified the internal conflict that bound him: He served two masters. While in the flow, the internal conflict was loosed and new strength flowed into the internal seed birthing new life. While personal achievement as a writer kept his soul in submission, it obstructed God’s full purpose in his life.

Leax realized that living in relationship as a servant required renunciation of personal recognition, achievement, and success. Leax found that true success cannot be measured or achieved, but only realized within the context of purposeful stewardship and interdependent relationship with the rest of the planet. In faithfulness he began to live out his calling through a personal declaration that to be a steward was to invite neighbors to join in; that enough neighbors standing together for a way of life make a neighborhood, and neighborhoods standing together make a nation; therefore, trusting and serving blessings upon one another in love. Leax realized that the neighborhood like the forest would mulch itself and thrive.

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Giant Redwoods

Each tree interdependently fed the forest community as it shed leaves and/or died thus becoming mulch.

Each tree silenced the part of itself that aspired to become the greatest tree in the forest––bearing the most fruit: Each tree became aware of any unconscious striving that overshadowed other trees causing darkness where there should be light. Leax realized that the struggle of achieving selfless purpose was a struggle in itself as the very sense of achievement needed to die, just like the seed. The mighty oak was once an acorn. But who can see an oak in an acorn?Only unto death the acorn becomes the oak, coming into maturity to again die in service of the forest. Leax discovered that as a writer, he served as a dying servant washing the feet of his readers like the trees in service to the forest.

The process of dying to oneself is a great challenge as a Christian

is the rebellious lustful flesh continuously strives to resurrect itself and become the greatest tree in the forest. A child dreams big dreams that motivate idealistic goals in adulthood: These self-centered goals set our feet on paths of striving and personal achievement to fulfill long sought-after dreams. Is that a bad thing? Only each of us can answer this question as we pray for God’s guidance, wisdom, and revelation in our own life. Dying to Oneself is an individual journey to become more like Jesus. As many of us pray, “More of you, Lord, less of me,” Do we understand what we pray? The Bible teaches that each person has to make a choice whether or not to align with the purposes of God: Resting and flowing in the spirit of His love. Jesus said, Take up your cross and follow me as he died for you. Will you die for him?

Leax, J. (2004). Grace is where I live. WordFarm: La Porte, IN


Taking time off to discover something amazing can change your life in an amazing way

The most contemporary sabbatical journey, Eat Pray Love, has taken root in our hearts in the past year as Julie Roberts played the role of a young woman who sought time off to discover something amazing..and she did. Something within. Something that was so silent within her that she couldn't possibly hear it through the noise of daily schedules and demanding deadlines. Even if your job is not one that can be put on hold indefinately, your sabbatical could be a short week or two. I have done this a couple times in my life. Though I did not travel to exotic places, I can say that my mind went to places my body did not have to travel. The insights that come to a rested mind cannot be taken lightly. Amazing is the only word that comes to mind. Here's to hoping you have been inspired to seek a quiet place to refresh and seek the giant oak within.


Julie Roberts in EAT PRAY LOVE - contemporary sabbatical


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Indeed, do we understand what we pray... thank you for sharing.