...a time for every activity under heaven.A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2.
I’m taking a little time to reflect. You see, I live in Colorado and every year there is a big to-do about the changing leaves and the fall color up in the “high country.” It is breath-takingly beautiful to witness. Ever since I became a mom, I have taken the kids up each fall to take pictures. Some of my favorite snapshots of them are from those trips. It is a mix of the striking blue sky above, majestic mountains backdrop and the sparkle of gold, yellow and green leaves on the trees around them. It is so stunning, it simply leaves me without words.
Yesterday we took this year’s trek. We drove a route that is well known for its splendor and magnificent color. As we searched traveled, I was balancing driving and looking for that perfect spot for pictures with taking in the beauty around us. We stopped several times, took some great photos and had some (mostly) enjoyable quality family time. (I say mostly because I was traveling with a 9 and 6-year-old who tend to try to annoy one another any chance they can!)
Fall is a transitional time, both for the earth and for us personally. So last night, after we were back and settled into our typical weekend routine, I tried to pause and think about what that means. The verse from Ecclesiastes popped in my head, so I spent some time reading through it again.
Interestingly, what we as humans appreciate so much about fall is really a signal of an ending. The colorful changing leaves mean that they are dying off and settling into a winter mode. Where I live, this means snow, much colder temperatures and bare trees along with brown fields and grass. Where I live in Colorado we don’t get as much snow as you might think, so most of the winter is pretty barren looking.
When I read through that passage, the meaning was so relevant. Change is inevitable in life. It’s how I respond and what I find to appreciate in the changes that enriches my life and helps me to grow stronger and deeper in my faith. Instead of responding with anxiousness and uncertainty, I need to trust, talk to Jesus about my fear and turn it over to Him.
If you asked me 20 years ago if I would ever live in Colorado, I would have laughed at you and thought you were crazy. But being open to change has been a blessing for me in life. When I got married, I knew going into it that we were going to live outside my self-imposed comfort zone and part of that meant moving from Florida to Colorado. Now, nearly 15 years later, I have an appreciation for so many different things I never would have experienced had I stayed put where I was.
In reflecting back, I can see the relevance of the passage. I find that both beautiful and ironic knowing where that the writer of Ecclesiastes was in his life at the time.
For me, at least, looking back on experiences, changes and challenges provides more clarity and understanding than when I am in the middle of it. Perhaps appreciating the changing of the seasons will help me to develop a more forward-thinking appreciation of the changes that are inevitable in life here on Earth. I know that will only be accomplished with a deep connection to our Heavenly Father, the One who makes it all for His glory.