When we feel like there is nothing we can do then we say:
“My hands are tied.”
When we feel too busy to do anything we say:
“I’m all tied up.”
When we are rude about someone, or something, we say:
“The old ball and chain.”
You get the idea.
The choices we make have responsibilities. Our responsibilities have a way of tying us down, restricting our freedom. There are benefits and blessings, but there is a cost.
We live in a neighborhood with many mature oak trees. The leaves fall. And then more leaves fall. Between the neighbor’s tree and ours, we are covered up in leaves. Yesterday, we stuffed eight huge plastic bags.
If I want a nice yard, then I deal with the leaves. The one comes with the other. At the moment, the leaves are a chain on my life. But if I want beautiful trees, then I pay the price.
Coping With Chains
The ups and down of life can make us feel shackled. There are chains of leaves and there are chains of grief, trouble, and misfortune.
Three simple ideas for coping with chains.
- Envision the big picture. It’s hard to see purpose when we are in chains. But often, the chains of today will bless others tomorrow, if not ourselves as well. We don’t always see how it plays out in the future, but it does.
- Behave ourselves. While chained up, we can still live honorably. Conduct ourselves with good character and integrity. Restrictions may be forced upon us, but we can choose to live a Godly life.
- Find joy and beauty. However hard the chains may be, beauty, loveliness, and excellence can still be found, and enjoyed. I can obsess about the leaves or I can embrace the splendor of the tree. Find the art, the music, and the joy.
Chains may be unavoidalbe, but we don’t have live shackled by anger, resentment, or discouragement.
I enjoy the trees all year long. The leaves fall for a couple of weeks, and are a few hours of work.
That’s a chain I can cope with. Keep coping!