a time to break down, and a time to build up.
Every year, I am entranced by the colors of fall. My experience is most often along my walk to work, where mature birches, red oaks and Norway maples burst with yellow and orange trying their hardest to replace the decreasing sun. Red maples and dogwoods complement their tall friends with crimson and magenta hues.
How is such beauty found in this seasonal death?
In the absence of adequate sunlight, the trees cut their losses. The leaves will not create enough energy through the winter to rationalize the energy they demand. The twigs harden where the leaves attach, cutting off the flow of nutrients to each leaf. A slow death begins as the last green chlorophyll is used up, exposing the leaves’ natural pigment. The twigs eventually push these lifeless leaves to the ground.
Next time you stop to marvel at the magnificent colors of October, consider the beauty that comes from this seasonal death. So it is true of you and me.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
As we die to ourselves — take up our crosses, lose our lives, walk in the way of Jesus Christ — a new hue colors our lives. One that fits much more nicely within our Father's palette. May we regularly experience seasons of such glory.
I’ve been trying to let the Lord instruct my heart as it relates to death and beauty. Within His redemptive plans, they seem to be inextricably linked.
How have you been growing in wisdom with this pairing?
Next we will explore some of the sticking points to our faithful response to Jesus’ call to lose our lives.