Christian Life

The Tangle and the Morph

Working out in my yard again today, I saw three different plants and trees tangled at the root. As I was trying to get at the branches, the roots and the trunks with my tools, it was just a thick mess and very difficult to see the origination point. I had to begin cutting at the top slowly detangling and making multiple cuts to get to the base of the growth.

It made me think of how life is and that when we try to make some changes, sometimes it is slow going. We think it will be quick and easy and we find that there are more steps and things to consider as we make changes. I used to really fear change; and now it’s generally the opposite. I pursue it, sometimes doggedly and hurriedly.

While that can be very exciting and even liberating initially; if you don’t take certain steps, you may end up frustrated and with different results than you wanted.

If I had insisted on just trying to get to the literal root of the situation, it would have taken me much longer as I would have been frustrated with a big tangled ball of three different growths. It was much more efficient to take the onion peel approach and just go layer-by-layer, step by step.

There are times to move swiftly and times to be more circumspect. It is very important to use wisdom, the Godly kind, to know which type of situation we are in at any given moment.

There is a certain satisfaction in working a process and clearing out the dead growth that is no longer functional and is in fact just extra bulk and weight. This is true in the yard as well as in so many mental and emotional processes that we must go through as human beings.

When we shy away from tending to the literal or the metaphorical yard or garden in or of our lives, there will be a price to pay. Rather that is in the form of bringing in an expensive dumpster, buying many tools and sowing countless hours as an investment to clear out the chaos or spending time in prayer, study of the Bible, seeing a therapist or seeking out Godly counsel from friends, to do something well, will cost.

I have this tree in front of my house that started out as a bush. However, left unattended, it morphed and kept growing and growing and growing to the point that it will cost more in time, energy and money to remove it. Had those that were here before me tended to it and had I had the right tools sooner, I might not be facing this issue. So too with the maintenance of our relationships and the garden of our hearts and minds. If we don’t tend to these precious items, we end up with what on the surface may look very beautiful but may prove to be very costly and or unhealthy in the end. The juniper on its own some may find beautiful. I find that the ivy looks lovely; and the tree is magnificent. However, without each of them being tended to, they created a horrible tangled mess and the ivy was trying to choke the tree to death.

It’s not like the ivy can intentionally do such a thing. Yet, the end result is the same as someone or something who either intentionally or mindlessly does something that is of detriment. I think it is so critical to live with a greater level of intentionality each day because all of our choices not only shape us but all of those around us.

Intentionality for the good is not always easy or fun as it requires discipline; but the results are so much better than a life lived haphazardly or from a place of lethargy.

What is your intentional? What’s the basis of the strength for being able to follow through?…

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