For 25 years now, we have made occasional trips to the area where my husband was born and lived for the first 10 years of his life. Many of his extended family still resides there and so we go at least once a year for a reunion. A few weeks ago, we headed there for the sad occasion of his uncle’s viewing.
It was a beautiful summer evening for a drive and I enjoyed looking at the lovely landscape. And, like many times before, I thought of how different this drive was from when we first started our trips east. WaWas, Wal-marts, and Wendy’s had popped up. Several new shopping complexes were now on the route. And so many homes! Hundreds more than when we first started making this trip. Most in well-manicured developments, each home similar to its neighbor. My, how the landscape had changed over the years!
The same thing has happened in the area where I live, but I never give it much thought. I am so used to seeing it, that I don’t realize just how drastic the change has been over the past 25 years.
It makes me wonder just how much the landscape of my life has slowly changed. For some reason, we don’t seem to notice the gradual changes in whatever is closest to us. We all change over the course of our lives, many times without even realizing it. And then comes the inevitable question – are the changes good or bad?
I started keeping a journal when I was about ten years old. Most of my young adult life is recorded in cloth-covered books. Every now and again, I will spend a few minutes glancing over them. It is especially interesting to read the ones I wrote in college. In my head, I am still the young, naive woman who got married at 22. However, when I read the journals, I know that I am not that girl anymore — and that’s a good thing! It is through my journals that I see that I have matured and grown up in the Lord. Oh, I have a long way to go, but I can see a lot of positive changes (and also some pesky flaws that keep hanging around, too!)
Most people do not have a journal to see the changes that clearly, but it may be a good idea to think for just a minute how the landscape of your life has changed. Are you more patient now than when you first got married? Are you more and more conscious of the sin around you? Or have you become comfortable with a sin in your life? Is there a wall that has grown higher and higher between you and someone else?
I know for me, really thinking about this has led to me to be convicted about a few areas that I have let slide, areas that have continually grown worse (instead of better), always thinking that “someday” I will try to work on this or change that. But unless we purposefully commit to change, “someday” rarely comes. Living intentionally will help the changes in our landscape to be pleasing to the eye, instead of looking like the run-down slums. And so, it is good to ask this question: What do the changes in my life signify about me?