Last weekend, I was at a wedding in Breckenridge, Colorado where the color change of the leaves is legendary. If you haven’t been to Breckenridge, put it on your bucket list. It’s a tiny mountain town with a well-preserved Main Street that time leaves untouched. There were professional photographers everywhere capturing the beauty and the mystery of the trees bursting into a technicolor dreamland of red, orange, and yellow.
The trip left me thinking about the color changes in our lives. It feels like summer is going to go on sweltering indefinitely and then we wake up to fall air and falling leaves. Winter's slush and snow gives way to spring, but always suddenly, and all at once. Nature won't be rushed, it has a process to complete. Our lives are the same way, we can't rush the process and we can't will a spring in our lives, or a fall change. Yet, I find myself wanting to live fast, rather than trust the process.
My whole life I've been living fast. By twenty-one I'd graduated college, been engaged, and working in commercial brokerage for almost two years. I'd blown through every stage of twenties life by twenty-one. And then I started all over, and one of the greatest lesson life has taught me is to live slow and settled, grounded and grateful.
But what happens when we can't seem to feel settled in our current season and it refuses to change? At that point living slow feels like entrapment, but how can slow be entrapment if God is setting the pace?
It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things. - Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
After a long and fruitless home search, I signed another year lease in my current apartment, and it time to take some of my own advice: do whatever you have to do to love where you live. I bought fall flowers and wrote, and praticed gratitude.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie
Last week, I was talking to my counselor about why my little apartment was more than enough for me three and a half years ago, but today I’m looking for something more. My space hasn’t changed, and this little apartment is still the place I’ve felt the most home in my life. Why am I looking to move on? Am I never satisfied? Or am I trying to move my life forward by whatever means necessary?
My counselor said development is like a staircase. We hop up onto a new step and then we walk for awhile, we experience life fully, we thrive on that step; but then after some time, we inevitably start bumping into the back of the next step. It’s not because we did something wrong or because we don’t know how to be content. We feel this way because we're hitting the back of the next step, and the next phase of life is approaching, not because we're living out of some false narrative or striving out of unsatisfaction.
Not everything in life is to be viewed through the lens of our issues. Sometimes I think each step I tentatively take is potentially a trap I set for myself out of my unresolved issues. But some things in life just aren’t that complex. Some things really are just about growing out of our current spaces and growing up.
There are days and moments when we're standing tall after traversing mountains in our lives, but it takes hundreds of small steps and ordinary days for those moments. We wait and work for those big moments, the weddings, the promotions, the new homes, the celebrations, but they are built on a million moments of growth and uncertainty, hope and healing.
My encouragement today is life is a staircase: keep climbing. The seasons and the colors of our lives change on their own time, just like the leaves on the trees. Our mission is to enjoy the moments between the changes, so we can walk into the next season with the boldness of fall, the wisdom of winter, the renewal of spring, and the warmth of summer.