Brenda’s Blog – July 21, 2014
The drought in the last few years has taken a drastic toll on our tall pine trees. They are reduced to skinny, naked sticks threatening our houses. So, this week a baker’s dozen came down with loud thumps. There were times when I thought the ground would surely crack with the impact. My house literally shook as the closest ones plummeted ungracefully.
Now, I look at my front yard with gaping holes and strangely miss even the damaged trunks and branches. I had gotten so used to seeing them, I hardly recognized them as dead — they were just part of the landscape. I knew they were a danger, but they weren’t uncomfortable or bothersome.
Our bad habits are much like these diseased trees. We get used to their dead weight on our souls and lives. We give them space and make room for them, even knowing they threaten our health. We look past them, rationalizing their presence and promising one day to rid ourselves of them. But like my trees, the cost of removal always seems too high.
Good habits can be cultivated in 30 days we are told. Bad habits can be eliminated, but it takes way more than a month. There were days when I told myself the trees would probably fall down on their own in a wind storm. Foolish, fantasy thinking. When we vow to rid ourselves of destructive behavior, we can fall into this same thought pattern… thinking it will go away on its own without effort, sacrifice, and pain.
Recognizing and acknowledging the bad habit is step one. Admitting to myself the trees had to go was the beginning. Finding someone to do the job well was next. Having friends in our lives who will help us as we determine to create healthy space by cutting out the dead wood is critical. I needed a man who knew what he was doing and would follow through with integrity. We need friends who are wise counselors with courageous and loving spirits.
George stayed with the job until all the trees were down and the mess was cleaned up. I still hate the holes, but I know I am a better neighbor because I don’t “ugly up” the street. I will learn to see my yard as it is now and be grateful. When we cull out our bad habits, we will miss them for awhile (maybe a long time), but with the help of others and God, we can see life more clearly and make room for more sunshine.