There is an Autumn Blaze maple tree that sits behind my house. Every summer its limbs are covered in an excess of soft green leaves. Then fall rolls around and they suddenly turn into the most breathtaking shade of yellow-orange you will ever see.
It’s a color so magnificent you know only God himself could have possibly designed it.
Today, that once stunning tree stands barren and lifeless; a mere shadow of the beauty that was and is yet to come. Without an abundance of gorgeous leaves filling its branches, something else has come to my attention. Do you see it?
A plastic bag is stuck high in one of the branches, violently whipping back and forth as the harsh western winds blow through those deserted limbs. This has me thinking:
Some days, I am that bag.
Clinging to a supple branch for dear life in the midst of yet another one of life’s many storms. With each gust of wind, my grasp slips ever so slightly. Yet I always manage to regain my stronghold in the small moment of calm between blows.
Some days, I am the tree.
Willing to serve as someone else's lifeline. A firm grasp for their hand to hold onto. Steadfast and unmoving, I may bend, but I will not break.
Some days, I am the storm.
Barreling through anything and everything that dares to bring me down. Determined and resolute. A force to be reckoned with.
I have learned that whether you are the bag, the tree, or the storm, is of little importance. What matters is what you make of each situation.
When you are the storm, make sure that your only fight is the Good one. Remember, it is okay to be strong. Stand up to injustice, and be a fighter for the weak.
When you are the tree, hold on tight to those needing your support. Be their anchor, their firm foundation, their lifeline. Stand strong against the wind and never bow down.
And when you are the bag, don't let go and allow life's storm to blow you away. Instead, let it entangle you in the branches. Hold tight to those holding onto you, and serve as a constant reminder that even the most seemingly weak can withstand the harshest environments when surrounded by the support of others.
At some point in time we will all be the bag, the tree, and the storm. Make sure you make the best of each situation.