Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Splendor of Autumn

Outside my window a miracle of this world unfolds with barely a nod or notice from most as they go about their busy lives.  It is called the change of seasons.

Oh, we can describe how this happens scientifically, but the essence of these changes, the beauty, the meaning, and the simple glory they represent cannot be stated in scientific terms.

We live in a world of change.  Some of it is painfully slow like the drifting of the continental plates.  Some moves a little swifter such as the progress of the glaciers down the mountains.  And some change, like the ageing process of man, is swift, indeed, in comparison to these.

However, there is something different about the change of the seasons, something unique that can make even the most hardened observer sit up and take notice.  We human beings crave consistency.  When our lives are ordered we tend to be more settled and content.  And I believe that is one of the purposes of the changing seasons.

Of all the seasons, the most glorious, in my opinion, is Autumn.  As the days grow shorter the winds begin to subtly change direction.  Instead of the choking heat and humidity we associate with summer, drier, cooler breezes bring welcome relief.  Rains appear more frequently and the dry land that summer brought now converts into a soft layer of earth now quietly waiting for the next growing season.

The real stars of this season are the multi-colored trees that tower above us.  All throughout the summer, they have spread their canopies of deep green shielding us from the brutality of the summer sun.  Now, in Fall, as the growing season slows and nears it's end, these natural umbrellas delight us with their final days and weeks by displaying God's colorful world spectacularly.

Brilliant reds, bright golds, vivid oranges, and even deep russets dot the landscape.  They delight the eye, reminding us that the world is much more than a resource to be mined and profited from.  When is the last time you took a walk just to take a walk?  Do you remember what it is to be among nature as she bids us farewell for a few months, serenading us as it were, with colors that even the most talented of artists cannot duplicate?

If it has been a long time since you have hiked through the glory of Autumn, perhaps it is time to do so.  And when you do, remember that what you are seeing is not the natural, scientifically explainable conversion of the earth from one season to another.  No, what you are seeing, what you are witnessing, what you are a part of is the reflection of the magnificent glory of God, the Creator, reminding us that all of His creation is beautiful.  And because all of us are His creation, we can certainly conclude that we are, in God's eyes, the most beautiful thing of His creation.