Are you looking out of a window at something that is bare bones, trees with few leaves? Yet weeks ago, the scenery spoke with color. I continue to be fascinated at the changing of the seasons, but as I think about how the seasons change, I reflect on other changes in our lives.
I think the words ‘bare bones’ can apply to other areas that affect our lives too. Let’s look at three; external, internal, and relational.
Look at your surroundings outdoors. In the south where I live, the trees have turned colors and leaves are falling off the branches onto everything. In the north, inches of snow cover roads, homes, business, covering up everything that was visible just weeks ago. With these external changes in our lives what can we do in the moment to move forward when the abundance of leaves or snow seems overwhelming covering up everything that is familiar?
Secondly, internal changes take place in us as we think about where we were weeks ago and how we have moved forward or not. For some, job loss causes pain and for some a job acquired causes gain. These externals affect how we feel on the inside. Maybe we were healthy and now we have an illness that hinders life. Circumstances and situations impact us, shifting us either forward or backward and can be awkward to navigate.
Lastly, relational changes can have the biggest effect on our lives, clouding our lens to external surroundings and our internal nature. Whether it is a difficult co-worker, a death in the family, the wedding of a grown child, or a death or divorce of a spouse, these shifts in relationships require our attention. How do we deal with these changes and still grow, preparing for the next season?
Some psychologists like the popular 50-10-40 rule. Here is a link to an article, but the conclusion at the end states life is more complex than a pie chart.
Bare bones – We come into the world bare and on the way out we don’t take much. I heard someone say, live life between the zeros. From nothing at birth until nothing at death, we can determine much of what our life looks like, dressing those bare bones. We may not can control some of what happens to us as the seasons change, but we can certainly determine how we respond to each situation steering our life’s story more in the direction God intended.
The Heart of the Matter is the Matter of the Heart,