4 days ago
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thoughts inspired by falling leaves, and daughters and their friends, …
The leaves fall under the trees in autumn. Maple leaves under maple trees, oak leaves under oak trees, aspen under aspen.
Branches overhead reach over them in their fallen-ness as if in one last attempt to hold onto the past. Branches protecting them, albeit in a limited way, as the leaves themselves were what created shelter and shade just a short time ago.
Branches stretched out, the trees stand as silent sentinels, wetted down by autumn rain, alone in their solitary sadness as they mourn the loss of their magnificence. Maple tree mourning maple leaf.
But oh, the brilliance of those leaves as they lie there, aglow with intensity. Adorning the emerald green of summer’s fading grasses, they are more significant now in their new setting than they were in the old. Leaf tips curling up to hold the rain drops, layered upon each other in a riotous celebration of colour, each worthy of becoming a cherished souvenir of a child. Until their colours have slowly faded, and each leaf quietly taken it’s place as a winter blanket for what lies beneath...the tree’s own roots.
And now if you look up into the trees, you will see that their time of mourning has ended. On the once leaf-laden branches you will find tiny indications of life. Their glory fallen, the trees prepare for future splendor. The buds lie dormant, waiting for the day that the flow of sap will swell them into significance, burst them into beauty.
How true it is with us.
How we cling to this life with great tenacity, holding tight to the wonder and delight of all this world has to offer us through the spring and summers of our lives. Then, like the autumn leaves, we shine in all of our splendor, our colours richly displayed. Our accomplishments, our careers, our possessions, our children, our ministry, our lives. Look, we say, look at what we have, look at what we have become, look at what God has done for us. Look at me!
And we are so beautiful then that we dare not let go of the branch. Our significance is in our position on the tree, separate from each other leaf, proudly displayed and distinct. Beautiful yet isolated, we hang on.
And yet God says, let go of the branch. Trust me, trust me in the falling. Yes, my blessings are for you to enjoy, but don’t hold on so tightly to what I have given you. My blessings are given so that you may then be a blessing. Isolation, pride and selfishness are not from me.
Only in the falling do we experience the gathering on the ground. Layers of leaves, intimately joined together in rich community, only on the ground do we recognize our interdependence. We join together there, unique colours fading into insignificance as we become a rich, fertile blanket for what is to come.
The bible says that as humans we cannot conceive nor the mind understand what God has in store for those of us who love him.
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