Saturday, 25 May 2019

IT’S very interesting to watch how people deal with the autumn leaves that fall on their lawns at this time of year.

Some people just leave them to rot on the grass, others use the specially designed leaf-blowers which clear them from the lawn but deposit them on the road or footpaths. Those leaves often end up on other people’s lawns or fill the gutters.

Others rake through their lawns, creating neat piles of leaves before filling their brown garden waste bins ready for collection.

This is a little like the way we handle difficult issues in our lives.

The first and favourite approach is just to leave them. Like the leaves, we can just let them rot. But the problems don’t go away.  

Rotting leaves don’t look good and secondly, damage the lawn. Similarly, if we don’t face and deal with unresolved issues in our lives, they will damage our lives and the lives of others.

The second approach is to blow the leaves away from our own patch. This is a little like the way we like to blame family, friends, spouse, the boss at work or past authority figures. We deflect our problems on others — it’s never our fault or our own issues that need facing.

Of course, very often others have damaged us through our lives but our positive response to these past hurts will help us to live free in the present.

The last response of carefully raking up the leaves and putting them into the bins provided is by far the best.

We can’t stop difficult situations coming into our lives but there is a way to rake through our reactions to those issues and bin them in the right place.

One can’t help noticing that as soon as Halloween is past, people are getting ready to celebrate a much more meaningful event.

For many, Christmas still points to a well-documented. 2,000-year-old happening which is still remarkably relevant today. 

It is surprisingly child and family friendly and is the only festival in the year that celebrates the birth of a child whose destiny brought about the possibility for people to receive personal and corporal freedom from the pain, problems and issues they face. 

Many of the carols we sing still underline the belief that the Jesus we celebrate came as a Saviour, peace bringer and healer.

He is still involved in people’s lives today as he helps them rake up their difficulties, get them in piles and deposit them in the right container.  

Through breaking the cycle of denial, admitting where they have been wrong and making changes in their lives, they are allowing Jesus to take all the rotting leaves away, giving them a fresh, clean start and true freedom in their lives. 

Why not begin the process this Christmas? Make some room in the diary to visit one of the many churches and engage with others who have had their lives changed for the better.

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