I’ve had a hard time letting go lately.
God has been prompting me for many months now to start dropping a few leaves. But I’m stubborn, wanting them to stay put because they are good and beautiful and some are even still growing.
Please God, nooooo.
It’s fall in my life and I’m in denial. I’m making up excuses for the changing colors and slower pace and shorter days. I’m still hanging on to the light of August, the warm breeze of September, and longer days of October where I had enough time to invest in the enthusiastic rhythms of dreaming and creating and doing.
Lately, it’s been a war on the leaves in our backyard. With a towering deciduous tree jutting out strong and tall from the center of our garden there’s never a day where there isn’t bright red and gold glory cascading from the sky.
Fall in nature is incredible to behold, miraculous to watch, and a mystery to figure out. How is it that trees can make dying look so delightful? How is it that a low-hanging sun and longer nights stir in us a desire for family, love, closeness, and a refocusing on what matters the most?
Nature surrenders to its different seasons in a quiet grace that makes everyone stop and stare in wonder.
But when God steers me in new directions, guides me into unmarked territory, and encourages me to embrace a season like fall in my life, I fight the inevitable with crying and kicking.
I don’t want my leaves to come off. I don’t want my branches laid bare. And don’t want to endure the cold, cutting breezes that whip through the air.
The trees make it look easy. Fall in the world looks like worship.
Perhaps this is the way it was meant to be though. Maybe the constant changing of seasons in our own lives can be more full of praise than pain?
God, the master gardener stands ready and waiting, with glowing expectation in His eyes and a rake in His hands.
As my leaves pop with their last bits of punchy colors and then begin to fall steadily to the ground He starts to work His wonders.
God isn’t fazed by the cooler temperatures, lack of productivity, or looming barrenness in my life. He slowly rakes the leaves into neat piles, scattering some them under shrubs, and hauls some off to the compost bin, just like we did in our backyard. With Him, fall is less like a war on leaves and more like unexpected worship.
Fall, a season of dropping what is good to make room for fresh life and restored hope and new courage.
Fall, a season of releasing the pressure from ourselves to perform and produce and make a profit.
Fall, a season of stepping back from all the busy activities and learning the art of single-minded focus and whole-hearted devotion once again.
Fall, a simple season of savoring slower steps and finding beauty in surprising places like dark nights, cold days, meager offerings, and underground growth.
Fall, I don’t want to fight it anymore. These leaves drifting downward are signs of my surrender. He rakes and piles and even prunes my branches with a smile. The rich smell of decomposing matter and look of lifelessness all around doesn’t shock Him.
The invisible roots shooting deeper, searching for more nutrients and rich soil are a simply signs of my abiding.
I take a lesson from the trees and raise my stick-arms towards heaven, worshipping no matter the season, because surrender reveals the secret- He makes all things beautiful in their time.
Verses to Ponder: Ecc. 3:1-11, Psalm 103:1-5, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Isaiah 43:19