October 12, 2007
Fall: Season of Reflection
As I stepped outside my door this morning the air had a crisp, cool bite. It blew through the trees and rattled dry leaves, plucking a few off and dropping them on the colorful ground below. I flipped the collar of my jean jacket up to protect my neck from the chill and paused a moment to admire all that is Fall.
This season always fills me with a mixture of nostalgia and excitement. It signals the nearness of Winter and thus the upcoming end to another year. And even though the trees have no concept of time as we know it, they are faithful in surrendering their leaves. If trees could want and know as we do... would they miss the leaves they grew and wore for so many months? Would they know how letting go helps them grow stronger for winter?
My eyes fell to the ground, admiring how the sunlight danced and skipped between the shadows of branches and leaves. Even the clouds seemed to play with the light! And as I raised my eyes I saw squirrels. They were busy searching for their treasured nuts, their fluffy tails blowing in the breeze light and carefree. But for all their jittery silliness squirrels are faithful in preparing for future needs. They use their energy to find and store up much needed sustenance in winter.
It all made me wonder... what am I doing, or should be doing, to prepare for the upcoming months of my life?
Its a given that none of us know exactly where we will be or what we will be facing even a few hours from right now. Sure we make plans but life can change them at any moment. Illnesses, accidents, terrorist attacks... we really don't know what will happen when we open our eyes in the morning. So what can we do to be prepared?
Most of us would look for somebody who could give us advice, right? But even in that we have to know where to go and who to trust. So, while I was standing in the front lawn watching leaves fall I reflected on all the folks who have been a friend and helped me keep a positive attitude in life.
And then I began to think about how I came to know all these people and after a few minutes I realized that although I loved them, they were not as dear to me as the One who brought them into my life in the first place. No one understands me... loves me so completely as God.
And as I watched those falling leaves I began to think of how intricate each leaf was and how complicated I was in comparison. I wondered why God bothered to create things that ultimately faded, that ultimately died. And it was as if He whispered the answer in my ear... everything was originally made to be enjoyed... admired. He made everything so perfectly that when it finally does die we are left yearning for more, feeling deep down that this life can't be all there is. Its that awareness of something missing inside... something that yearns to be filled but can't be with anything in this life... except by Him.
That's when I realized that God is romantic. Nature, Music, Words, Love... it all came from His heart, from His passion! And just as dead leaves create new soil and then new life so it is with us. Whatever happens, whenever it happens, I know it will be okay because He is with me... because He loves me. And I realized that I too was created to be enjoyed... that maybe my real reason for existing is so He could enjoy my company as I do His. So while I stood watching those falling leaves I entrusted Him with my future. If all I have is God then I already have everything I need. There's no winter storm or terrible event that can take Him from me. I'm prepared.
How about you?
" Your power and goodness, Lord, reach to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Where is there another God like you?" Psalms 71:19