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How Perceived Logging Destruction is a Catalyst for Good

Apr 02, 2023

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Let that sit on you for a second. This is true for humanity as well as for forested landscapes. For every life there is a beginning, middle, and an end.... but as trusted stewards of the forests, it is up to us to cultivate that timing for a particular story and season. 

This week particularly is of great importance for those of faith, as it is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. Reflecting over this time period of this season, there were several forest stewardship principles which stood out to me.. one of which I am going to write out for you here! 

And that is how perceived destruction is actually utilized for good

Now let's set the framework first. For those unfamiliar with the scriptural story of this week, I recommend reading Luke 19: 28-38, Luke 23:13-49, and Luke 24: 1-12, 44-51 in that order. 

Starting at the beginning, Jesus is welcomed into Jerusalem on a donkey by his adorning disciples and others, who are literally lying down their coats and palm leaves for him to walk in on. (Luke 19:37-38) He is a King, and at the perceived height of his "glory" by those around him in that moment of time. 

Now, how does this relate to forest stewardship.... when is the perceived height of glory for your forestlands, where all those around admire it? If you guessed during it's most "mature" state, then you win! Mature forests may mean different things and be of different "ages" to different people, so for uniformity sake we are saying the "last stage" of management where the trees reach incredible heights and perhaps there's a good mix of understory woody and forb vegetation, and it is as beautiful aesthetically as it is of quality. 

Now let's fast forward to Good Friday, an ironic title in my opinion since it's literally representing the day of crucifixion of Jesus in the most gruesome manner. The King who went from being worshipped days beforehand is now being betrayed and killed on a rugged cross. (Luke 23:44-46) It was seemingly the end. 

Your mature forest, the one everyone had admired in that state... now has come time to be harvested and logged, and in the Southeast this most likely means through a clearcut harvest method. Everything is gone, "destroyed" and no longer in favor by society. 

But spoiler alert, this isn't the end of the story. 

On the third day Jesus raises from the grave (Luke 24:1-6, 44-47) and fulfills the scriptural prophecy which allows us to have a personal relationship with God. 

The logging job isn't the end of the story for you and your forest, but it is necessary for the means of renewal to take place. Because what comes next for every good steward of the land? Reforestation. Replanting for the next generation, the next season of forest. 

But that is not the only purpose of the logging job- it has a purpose to fulfill: the needs of society from paper and pulp needs in writing and reading resources, baby and feminine products, to delivery and retailer packaging needs, to providing the shelter and its resources of life in our home structures we as a multitude have grown accustomed to for the daily tools of our lives. 

The seemingly destruction of one entity has a purpose to fulfill as well as act as a necessary tool for renewal. 

In the cross we see throughout our churches and as a representation of Christianity as a whole, is a display for one of the biggest acts of destruction mankind has performed: the crucifixion of Jesus, the son of God. And yet, at the same time, represents one of the biggest blessings of God- the chance for renewal and a relationship with Him. 

A seemingly devastating time perceived from the outside: a time of logging and timber harvests I challenge should be viewed through the same comforting lens as the cross... as an act of purpose and a tool for renewal

If you have enjoyed this faith-based interpretation, I recommend checking out our new Ultimate Landowner Intensive Series, teaching land management principles through the lens of scripture. 

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