Monday, April 15, 2013

Dead or Alive??



Spring is here in the south!  Warm weather, wildflowers, green trees bring a freshness and beauty to behold each day.  In the midst of all this beauty, some of our trees are looking a bit funny.  The brown leaves which died back in the fall are still partially hanging on the trees, along with the new green growth.  It makes the tree look both dead and alive! 
 
Through the years, we've learned about these spring leaves at our home.  In certain oak trees, the leaves die back and hang in the tree through the winter.  Winds, rain or cold can't shake them out.  But, when spring arrives and the new growth comes, it forces the old leaves to fall to the ground and allows the new growth to take over.  Many a spring day at our home finds us raking up these leaves!!
 
In our lives, sometimes we have some habits that seem to be hard to shake.  Like those dead leaves, they seem to hang on and on.  Like the harsh winters have no effect on the leaves, our efforts to rid bad habits can be futile.  We can try be sheer force to overcome them, we can read books, tell ourselves to do better, try and try again, but still they stay put.  It is not until these habits are replaced with another that the 'let go' and fall away.  As the new leaves on a tree force the old leaves out and off, new (and better) habits are the key to kicking out the old as the new takes over.  Slowly, as the new replaces the old, a bright and beautiful sight is revealed - the newness of spring!
 
Think about a few areas in our lives that we may be ready to change
 
  • speech
  • selfishness
  • sarcasm
  • jealousy
  • insecurity
  • lack of generosity
to name a few!
 
By replacing these slowly with better choices, our words can become sweeter and more powerful.  Selfishness loses it's grip when we think of and act with others in mind first, sarcastic words can fade in the light of kind and gentle speech.  Jealousy loses it's power when we choose to believe the best about our self and others instead of seeking the worst. Insecurity goes away when we think of and use our God given talents and gifts and is replaced by confidence.  Becoming generous expands with each opportunity to share with others. 
 
This transformation isn't instantaneous, but is more like a journey towards excellence - it begins and grows with each step or action.  But along the way, the old, dead, lifeless things fall away and new, beautiful life springs forth.  Let's choose to live in the beauty of spring - inside and out!
 

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