I was driving on my way to Bend, Oregon a few days back. An old barn caught my eye. The structure was withered and torn, even the roof collapsing in spots. I saw a horse just outside drinking water from a trough. A quick glimpse gave me the impression the barn was still in use, despite the poor structural condition, which of course got me thinking…
I believe the visual of the tattered barn is somewhat metaphorical for us in a way. How many of us are functionally broken? I believe we all have brokenness constantly within and around us. The majority of us still go to work. We still eat our meals. We earn a living. Occasionally we feel love. Occasionally we argue with a loved one, family member or co-worker. We haphazardly walk through much of our day without noticing much given our indifferent state of mind and heart. We often live in the past, our glory days, much like the barn would if it had a memory of those first-build years before the weathering began. We perform our duties, like providing for others if needed, although wishing we had more to consume and/or to give along the way. We certainly aren’t our best and we have every excuse not to be. After all, we’re not what we used to be, we’re not the “dream barn” anymore! We’re simply a little broken, perhaps even a lot. Hey, we still have what it takes to get through, to get by, to be good, or dare I say- average, right?!
Imagery perspective. That’s the modification. The barn cannot say, I want to change and become a greater barn. Sure, the barn can wish for a remodel, yet cannot take action. The barn needs someone else to make that decision for the barn to be renewed, re-energized, and re-strengthened. I believe we can make a few choices to regain our power. I believe we can go through a complete remodel. I believe we need to strip down the wiring and conditioning of the world and choose our own path. I believe we have the tools to blossom from the inside out, to be remodeled where it counts, followed by shining brighter for the world. We have to admit we’re a little torn and broken in the first place (hardest part). We have to determine that functionally broken isn’t good enough. We have to determine that going through the motions isn’t good enough. We have to decide that potential is a word of the past and seizing life is our new today. We need to live with no regrets and stop making excuses. But how the heck can we do that? I don’t know, but here are a few thoughts that entered my mind:
- God first, period! Faith allows light to shine from the inside out. Realizing there is more to live for than material objects or others’ opinions of you in this world is one of the most enriching lessons I’ve ever learned. We are rebuilt from the inside out, right down to the last coat of paint, brush-stroked by The Painter Himself.
- Find joy- What provides those “happy tears?” What inspires you? What brings you joy? I’m not talking the momentary happiness of driving a new car off the lot or that winning a hand of blackjack feeling. I’m talking about the real, authentic, down deep joy that you feel in your heart and gut. What does this for you? Perhaps baby steps toward this and a commitment to action. Life is too short to hate what you do or who you’re pretending to be for everyone else.
- No regrets- don’t be that person who looks back toward the end of life and has a glass that’s half empty. We need overflowing glasses. We need enriched and fulfilled lives. We need impactful experiences and moments that shake and shape us to the core. I cannot imagine the disappointment I’ll feel one day if I look back and regret not FULLY LIVING my life.
- Be the good kind of crazy! One of the coolest things for me these days is when people think I’m doing something a little nuts. Get out there and challenge yourself. This prompts growth and a mindset of improving and reaching for the stars! Take calculated, yet solid chances. If you’ve always wanted to own your own business, why don’t you? Sure- it’s hard at first, yet if you’re doing what you love you’ll realize that the journey of figuring it out is half of your compensation in the first place. People all around you have been telling you that you’re awesome at something, yet you hesitate. I’m not saying aimlessly quit your job and start your own business, yet I’m saying it would be a shame if you never tried being what you really want to be when you “regrow up!” Let’s go, stop wasting time and put together an action plan. Follow a dream, even if it’s simply a new hobby or serving others and has nothing to do with how you earn a living. Let’s be what God intended us to be, not indifferent or mediocre, what a shame! Be truly and authentically YOU!
- Love others. Love yourself. Forgive others. Forgive yourself.
- Don’t judge, you don’t know the street anyone else has walked down.
- Surrender to God. Stop thinking or craving control, it doesn’t work! I promise, I’ve tried and I’m willing to bet so have you!
- Be adventurous, boring kind of sucks. Smiling and laughing are healthy habits.
- No excuses, what we CHOOSE to do tomorrow has nothing to do with what someone else did to us in our past. Confront the wounds, heal them (even if you need help doing so) and move forward the better version of you that the rest of us can’t wait to see shine!
- Peace. God gives and wants us to feel peace. Perhaps be okay with living with a little more peace, while owning one less expensive watch?! We don’t have to conquer the material world. Feel some peace once in a while. Be still and let God speak to you. Recharge and feel the Holy Spirit within and around you.
I felt led to share this message. How many of us are withered, torn and beat up while aimlessly moving through the only life we have? How many of us are half alive each day? How many of us are indifferent? How many of us are wounded and bitter? We don’t have to be just an old functioning barn anymore. We can let some light in! We can surrender to Him! We can let God in! Choose to be a better you tomorrow! Choose to be remodeled, from the inside out! Choose a different perspective! Choose what the barn cannot- to be renewed and transformed into the version of yourself that you were created to be. Let’s get better over time!
We’ll be in Missoula, MT for a couple days. I have lots on my mind, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me soon! I hope you’re all feeling amazing tonight- loving, laughing and being authentically YOU!