When we first moved into the home we live in, we were amazed at its quiet surroundings. We could sit outside and hear birds chirping, the wind blowing through the oak trees, and otherwise silence. Occasionally you could hear kids playing outside or the blaring 90’s grunge music of the man three doors down as he works out in his garage.
This year, however, things have change a lot.
There are houses being built on nearly every street around us. Once home to as many vacant lots as there were houses, those vacant lots are losing their grip. Trees are coming down and houses are going up.
It’s become a conversation point in our car every time we notice a new lot has been cleared – which happens at least a couple of times each week. I have vocally expressed my dislike for all the changes in the scenery enough that 10-year old Damian now takes over, expressively talking about how many trees they are killing and how they are damaging our environment.
Everything escalated when we woke up one morning to the dogs going nuts over the bulldozers and such behind our house. They were tearing down the trees in the vacant lot. Sure, they weren’t much to look at, but it was always nice looking out the window or sitting on the back patio with the view of huge pine trees rather than the roof of another house.
It all happened so quickly. In fact, it couldn’t have taken much more than a month and we had a brand new house behind ours. Joy. In the meantime, the bunnies lost their home and sporadically found their way into ours. Bird nests galore were destroyed and our trees in the front yard and back yard all become new bird condominiums. Of course, we don’t mind. I enjoyed watching the birds build their nests and move into their new homes.
The city I reside in has won an award for years as the “Tree City USA.” So, here’s the kicker. Are you ready? For every lot they clear and new home they build, they have to plant a certain number of trees. In other words, they tear down those who have laid roots to plant new ones. I often wonder why they don’t just clear off a certain area where they intend to build and leave the rest untouched. Something tells me it is for superficial reasons. So, if anyone knows why they don’t do this, please enlighten me.
Then, the other day, something hit me. Vacant lots end up with a build-up of debris – especially when they aren’t cared for (which is usually always the case). From broken tree limbs and fallen leaves to littered garbage and more. By clearing them off and replanting, they are, in a sense, sort of renewing the land.
Life tends to get all junked up sometimes, too, doesn’t it? Whether it is current situations, pent up emotions, or things shoved aside that we just don’t have time to deal with right now – our mind gets too cluttered that we can’t focus on the things we need to, right? Like, uh, God. We tell ourselves, I’ll just go to bed now because I am tired and I will wake up earlier tomorrow to read my Bible before work. Or, As soon as I finish this Hulu series, I will spend more time with God. Or, If I didn’t have so much work to do, house to care for, kids to parent… There are so many excuses. And, they all result in the same thing – nothing. Life can weigh us down so much that it makes doing the good stuff more difficult.
Sometimes, we need to clear out our lives and replant, so-to-speak. We need to make room for the new – especially if we intend to grow. We need to refresh our mind. We need renewal. And, guess who can give that to us? That’s right – the ultimate one-man construction crew: God.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Let this be your reminder that a fresh start can be a welcome opportunity for growth and change. And, well, it sure does feel good.
Until next time… ❤❤