There is this tree outside our office window that is ‘going through the change’. I guess I’ve never noticed it before but it changes its colors from the inside out. The leaves closest to the trunk are bright red and orange and yellow. The leaves on the outside are still bright green.
As with so many of my ‘life lessons’, it got me thinking…
This tree is like I am. My beauty comes from my inside. The more whole and full my heart and soul are (the inside), the more beautiful I become on the outside. My outer ‘branches’ are still a bit green and less unique, but they are also less easily broken and act as a protective barrier to the more beautiful, yet fragile inside.
I realize that soon I will have to ‘give up’ these beautiful, fragile leaves as they fall to the ground and my trunk prepares for a long rest and then re-budding in the spring. I realize that my ‘tree of life’ goes through seasons exactly like this little tree does. I, too, go through times of molting and changing and rest and restoration and new growth. I will lose some leaves in the storms of life. I will sometimes flower and be surrounded by other life. I am sometimes praised for my beauty and sometimes ignored when I am bare.
Underneath the ground, my roots are growing stronger and larger. Each spring I come back a little bit stronger after weathering the seemingly endless winter cold. Each spring I am less ‘bothered’ by the winds and storms. I am stronger and know that each of these seasons in life are not without purpose.
I know if I am not cared for and pruned and watered I will die before my time. I know that I rely on my Creator and His creation to care for me. I know that I will not live forever, but I will live as long as I am supposed to live. I will leave behind a memory and a certainty that I was here…that I grew and knew life. I will know that my seeds created or encouraged or enabled others’ to live. I will know that my life had purpose and that my beauty was absolutely from the inside-out.