You may have heard the saying; “Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.” I always thought the word acorn came from ‘oak’ and ‘corn’, but not so. The word acorn comes from the Old English aecern, meaning berry or fruit. Through the centuries there have been many variations of the phrase “Tall oaks from little acorns grow” and here are a few examples.
“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” is found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, 1374.
“An oak cometh of a little spire” is found in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia, 1732.
“The greatest Oaks have been little Acorns” is from an essay by D. Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797.
So why am I thinking so much about acorns and oak trees? Men and women, who accomplish much in this life, began as little babies. All heroes, great leaders and spiritual giants of the faith, began the same way. They began as babes in their mother’s arms. Here at the Four Corners Home for Children we have the unique opportunity to shape children into significant men and women for the Lord and society! The oak tree doesn’t become what it’s intended to be without a struggle. There are many pitfalls along the way.
Squirrels find some of the acorns and store them for food when the winter snow comes. Many are trampled underfoot and never take root. Some, even though they have taken root, struggle to survive like the oaks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Winds are strong along this ridge, so the trees are stunted and deformed. Our kids also experience the storms of life and they need our nurturing protection as they develop into productive men and women. Then of course there are other acorns that find a safe place to grow and develop into mighty strong oak trees. What an awesome privilege we have, to give our kids the love and direction and support they need while they are in our care.
One day they will be tall and mighty oaks!
By Bob Juday