Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

The last several weeks have just been a marathon.  A lot of things have been going on at Cove in the Student Ministry alone…not to mention the whole church.

Therefore, I told myself that after my last trip of the summer was over (Road Trip) that I would take a couple weekends in September to get away.

I decided to make a semi-spontaneous trip to see my friend Jana in Nashville.  I have not seen her since I settled in Huntsville, and 8 months is simply too long to live so close.  Next weekend, I will be going to see my Dad in Nashville. 🙂

Thursday morning, I set out with a full tank of gas and 4 CDs (3 of which a student made me for my Birthday last week:).  I spent time in prayer and worship as I took in the beautiful surroundings of the south on my way to Nashville, my hometown.  I met Jana at our ritual lunch spot of now going on years, the Cheesecake Factory in Green Hills.  We had a great time laughing too loudly, making awkward conversation with our waiter, catching up on life, love, and the Lord, and of course eating cheesecake.  

After lunch, we decided to stop by Tusculum Church of Christ, where I used to work, and surprise Rob Touchstone (there is a link to his blog to the bottom right).  I opened the door to the building and was greeted by sweet little “Miss Mary” working that the receptionist desk just like I left her.  I exclaimed over seeing her.  Then Rob was stunned because he recognized my voice and was so surprised to see me.  Jana, Rob, and Robert (a new staff member) sat and talked for about 3 hours.  It is amazing how time can fly.  It was so good to talk ministry…Tusculum is about to start the Orange curriculum in the youth ministry that we use at Cove.  Rob used to live in Huntsville, so he was giving me some of the ins and outs.  Sometimes I think of Rob as my little yoda.  He is just so full of wisdom, grace, and brotherly love.  It is such a blessing to of worked with him in ministry and have him as a friend.

That night, I got to attend something I had always wanted to go to–Sanctuary.  It is a worship service primarily for college students and young adults at Woodmont Hills.  THIS was a surreal experience for me.  As I walked in, I ran into people I went to high school with that I haven’t seen since graduation.  I saw old friends that were in my youth group growing up.  Then a whole lot of the students I worked with at Tusculum are now in college…so they were all there.  All 3 of these worlds of mine were colliding in 1 room of around 800 people.  It was amazingly ridiculous.  I sat on the second row to get the full effect of the service.  For 1 hour straight this dark, candle lit room of 600ish 20somethings lifted up songs like, “Our God,” “With Everything,” and “Your Grace is Enough” to name a few.  It was wonderful!

Hit the spot.  It was so nice to not be in charge of anything or have to leave early.  I had to stop and think about how BIG God is, as well as, how global He is.  I mean when I think about all those people that get together every Thursday night to worship and then I think about all the people I know at churches in Dallas, Houston, Abilene, Fort Worth, Anaheim, San Fransisco, Huntsville, Birmingham, New Orleans, Carry, Honduras, Jamaica, etc. etc. I just get overwhelmed.  I think about all the people I alone know who are working for His kingdom…at Manna House, CARE Center, Faith Works, etc. etc.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the right here and now that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

As you get sucked into the daily grind, you can loose site of the real fact of the matter at hand.  Stepping back helps give clarity of the whole situation.

To build on my thoughts I was already having about trying to see the forest side of things…Friday, I spent some time alone.  Visiting a few places that are close to my heart and my walk with God.  That night, I saw the movie Eat Pray Love. *(If students are reading this, then I recommend you consult your parents and the ratings before seeing this film).*  This movie is the epitome of a woman’s journey of not being able to see the forest for the trees.  She takes a year to step out of the country and gain some perspective.  For several months, much of her life centered around fellowship and food.  Enjoying every taste and moment.  For several months, much of her life centered around praying.  Granted, she was not praying to whom I would pray to, but the concept of spending time in solitude, silence, prayer, and meditation was the focus.  She was wanting to literally clear her brain to better focus her thoughts.  (It also made my little wheels turn about how dedicated some of the other religions are to disciplines and spend hours on end doing them, yet many times we do not, and sometimes, much less even know how to pray out loud..I am working on how to fix this–stay tuned).  To end off her year away, much of her focus was on love.  She was given a charge to play and work on an overall balance.  Her mentor said, “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balance life.”  Which, that quote was one of many that I found to have truth.

I came back home on Saturday refreshed and renewed.  As always, I am striving at keeping a good balance of work, friends, family, ministry, serving, and health…all for His glory of course.  I know that my getting caught up in Cove is a good thing, but you can’t miss the big picture…that there is a global sanctuary going on or that loving liberally is part of living a balanced life.  For some, in order to see the forest for the trees you just have to drive a couple hours to see your own little yoda or Belle Meade Mansion.  Sometimes, you just have to go to Bali.

Don’t get so caught up in the trees that you miss the forest!


4 thoughts on “Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

  1. Rachel Sparkman says:

    Great blog! I like that metaphor of the forest and the trees. In my life right now, I am more overwhelmed by the forest and am missing the trees!
    I’ve started going to the young adult ministry at Asbury UMC called the Storehouse. Have you heard about it? They have a really unique and special prayer ministry that I think you might enjoy. Their website is Let me know if you want to go to the prayer service with me sometime. Have a great week!

    • carolinehare says:

      Thank you Rachel! That’s awesome! I haven’t heard about it! We do need to get together! I will be in town next weekend…I will facebook you!

  2. Justin Higgins says:

    I love your blog Caroline!! I just had a rough day, and I read this before bed and it made me in the right mind set! I’m glad you had a good weekend away! I enjoyed your blog and it made me think and I love that quote from the movie! That’s so cool you got to meet all of those old friends, and I have to say one my mom loves the Cheesecake Factory! It is so awesome. One tip, don’t ever order the chicken pot pie! We ordered it and it was about a foot high! You just have to see one, one day! It’s so good though!

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