I’ve been spending a lot of time with family and friends like many of us are this holiday season. It’s been great to catch up, reconnect, and in some cases start new relationships (or they feel like new) with loved ones.

It’s also the opportunity to be reminded of how fragile the ties can be between people and how quickly we can forget about those that are no longer in plain view. How powerfully-unfortunate the truth of the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

I spent the evening with an uncle who has spent his time in a place filled with regret – the last time I saw him was before my wedding day where we shared a meal at his house. That was more than 7 years ago. Since then my life has changed dramatically – too much to really fully appreciate or account for in full.

His, though, did not change that much – in fact, his life might as well stood still as he spent the last 7 years in jail. I looked at him today though and although he was cleaned up and was in good spirits all I could think was that he looked weathered. Like a jacket that had been worn too many times and that no longer provided the warmth that it once did.

I didn’t pity him – I just felt a deep sadness that he had missed out on so much of life. From what I heard, the last few years have not been good for him relationally with his wife and especially his daughter who will no longer speak with him.

We will all become weathered at some point, beaten by time, experience, and as our own bodies fight against us for whatever reason. These are not bad things – they are what they are.

But let’s not become weathered because our relationships are no longer there because we make a decision that robbed us of them. Let’s not become weathered because we died years ago to our passions as they left us behind.

  • Mutant Minds

    Let’s be weathered like the mighty bonsai, sitting atop a cliff, battered by the wind and rain, only to become beautiful to behold.

  • http://www.gauraw.com Kumar Gauraw

    John,
    Incredible article. I enjoyed your writing and you are right – Let’s not become weathered.
    Thank you for your awesome story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bberchtold Brett Berchtold

    John, great post. I appreciate what you do!

    One thing in particular hit home with me…”they are what they are”.

    My wife has been on bed-rest for over a week (with our 5th child). She’ll continue to be on bed-rest throughout Christmas and into the New Year (God-willing). Baby is 30 weeks old.

    We have faith that this is the course God wants us on. We have no reason for coming up with anymore reasons than that. We’ve told ourselves and others “it is what it is” and push on. This attitude has prevented us from being paralyzed by the situation. It’s kept us moving forward – strengthening relationships, being with family and friends, time in prayer, etc. We don’t want to “wake up” one day and realize we haven’t grown (and others haven’t grown around us). We are obliged to keep things moving for us and those around us.

    Merry Christmas!
    Brett

  • http://jennifermzeiger.wordpress.com jennifermzeiger

    Relationships enrich life. Thanks for the reminder not to let how life is sabotage what’s important.

    Merry Christmas=)