It is Fall – my favorite time of the year. All around me, the wonderful leaves of the hardwoods are changing colors. Now, it may not be as bold as someone the northeastern part of the country, but it is very vivid and spectacular…
There are the deep yellows. Trees of red that pops. And so many in transition with colors all along the palette. But I do live in a little village called “Evergreen” – so there are quite a lot of trees still keeping their needles and leaves as that ever constant green – pines, firs, and more. And mixed in all of this are the brown leaves, leaves that have turned already, or went straight from green to brown, like all the Dallas, Texas trees I remember.
Yet also, another category – empty trees. Trees that have lost their leaves. Maybe they are trees that are sick or dying and no longer have any foliage.
But as I drive around, my eyes are drawn to the colors, to the wonderful artistry God has given us this time of year – every year. This is just one of the great pieces of God’s creative nature as His glory is manifest in all of creation.
Life is like the drive around – our eyes are drawn to the colors, the wonderment. And in doing so, during this time, we often neglect the evergreens. Evergreens – ever faithful to life – ever showing us robustness through storms, cold, snow – ever green.
We feel disappointed in the brown leafed trees – as if we missed their moment of glory and wish they had waited for us to see it. It’s like we can disregard them until next year.
We try to blot out the empty trees – not really giving much thought as to their vitality or usefulness. They make us feel cold, shivering, isolated. Hiking in the winter is often filled with forests of little but these trees, so I walk along wondering what they would be like if it wasn’t so … barren. What good is being barren except maybe a source of firewood? (still a source of heat in this area.)
Awe for the lively colors. Neglect or taking for granted for the faithful evergreen. Disappointment for the brown. Avoidance of the barren.
Wait, is this about life or about leaves?
In life, we are drawn to the glam. We live vicariously through the idols, the stars, the athletic G.O.A.T.s. We long for the life of the rich and famous, even if just a glimpse. This is not new. Remember Robin Leach and his show.
LESSON ONE – the bright colors, the flash in the pans, are temporary. You only remain that way so long before you yourself loose your color and fall to the ground.
And we neglect the steadfast, the workhorses. My wife is a certified EA, has worked for C-Ring execs, at Fortune 100 companies. Her work is that of the steadfast, sure, and dependable. Not the flashy offices. Not the burning bright, on their way up the corporate ladder, flash in the pan – but a faithful, trustworthy evergreen. Too often, she and others get overlooked just because there is no corner office, no name on the building, yada yada yada … you get it.
LESSON TWO – the world is full of faithful, steadfast people that keep the machine going. Be thankful and appreciative people.
We are disappointed in the browns. Ignoring where they are now and wishing for the past. How often do we see old entertainment idols that didn’t age well. We long for the good old days. How long can The Rolling Stones still be a trend setter?
We do this too. What picture do you use for your LinkedIn? Is it current, with a little (or lot) of grey, before the pandemic poundage that was added, and so on? Or is that a shot of five – even ten years ago. Guilty as charged.
God placed you here right when He wanted. So you are the age He wants you to be. Appreciate it. Yes, the mountain top experiences may be in one’s past, the athletic feats may no longer be viable; but if you are here, you’ve got something to do – now. Share your knowledge. Learn from others that have gone through life. Maybe you’ll be a better person because of the knowledge you can glean.
LESSON THREE – God placed others here right when He wanted. So we are the age He wants us to be. Appreciate it. Learn from these who’ve been there and done that.
And lastly, we avoid the hurting, the barren, those that add little to the panaramic scenario – Who knows why they are like that. Maybe they are in a dry season. Maybe they have been hurt, wounded, shaken. But in regards to people, they are still people. And as people, we are to show the love of God.
LESSON FOUR – Sometimes there are people in our lives that add little or nothing – but they still need to know they are loved. They still need to know they are not alone. Don’t ignore them.
So, go ahead, look at the snazzy, colorful, picture worthy leaves of Fall – but never forget, the colors are temporary. And there are a lot more trees around that do not need to be ignored.
—— Cover Photo at Lake Holliday