The Sycamore Tree

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(This is an excerpt from the chapter "Day Fifteen: The Sycamore Tree" in the book 21 Days Closer to Christ.)

Luke, chapter 19, tells the story of a man named Zacchaeus who hoped to see Jesus when He passed through Jericho. The scriptures tell us that this man held a high position and was quite rich. Zacchaeus was also “little of stature” and “could not for the press” see the Savior. But he was not about to let the cir­cumstances prevent him from seeing “who [Jesus] was” (v. 3). He ran ahead and climbed up into a sycomore tree for a better view.

There he waited and watched for the Lord to come near. “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully” (Luke 19:5–6).

How many of us frequently find ourselves in a similar situation? We live in a world that moves at a very fast pace. With email, cell phones, and FedEx, our lives are never still. We work longer hours with shorter deadlines. Success today has become more than holding an important position or acquiring wealth; we want the most for our children, our families, and ourselves. Often this means filling our schedules and every spare moment with more and more of what we hope will bring us joy. Somewhere in the press of all of these demands, we try to make room for the Savior. But are we wise enough to take the time and remove ourselves to a place where we can sit apart from the daily grind and allow Him a place in our lives? Walking away for even a moment can help us receive needed counsel from the Lord.

Pour out your souls [to God] in your closets.”

—ALMA 34:26

To catch an unimpeded view of the Savior, Zacchaeus had to climb into a sycomore tree. Where is your sycomore tree? Think of a place where you can go, which will allow you unimpeded access to the Lord. Spend a moment there and take the time to prioritize what is most important in your life. In doing so, consider the direction that the Savior gave Zacchaeus: “To day I must abide at thy house” (Luke 19:5; emphasis added). That guidance is just as important for each one of us. The Savior’s Spirit must abide in our homes every day, but it is up to us to decide how, or even if, we will invite Him in.

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