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Ed Jordan: The Season of Appreciative Reflecting

Posted: 11/27/17 at 12:55pm. Column by Ed Jordan.

We arrived in the hills on a sunny day with the autumn colors in all their glory. Reds, oranges, yellows and browns created a world of contrasts and beauty. My first thoughts were of the splendor of our great caregiving God, who even in the midst of the death of the leaves fills them with splashes of unfathomable colors.

A cold front was moving in, bringing clouds and their shadows, which began to mute the sunlit colors of the leaves. With the front came the wind. Experience conveyed that many of the leaves currently clinging tenaciously to the trees would not continue to do so for long.

As I looked up, a huge leaf was floating down towards me, spread wide like a skydiver trying to catch the resistance of wind in order to stay afloat as long as feasible and land as softly as possible. The leaf swooped left and right before it finally lit intact on my windshield, I realized I had witnessed poetry in motion.

The leaf swooped left and right before it finally lit intact on my windshield, I realized I had witnessed poetry in motion.

As I watched another large leave drift down, there was a feeling of relief—of peace—as it approached a soft landing upon the window. In those moments I caught a deeper sense of what was happening in the falling leaves, the blowing breeze, and the change of seasons.

The falling leaves of autumn are a visual picture of the need to value and appreciate what God has given to us.

There is a great, designed, and orchestrated process which manifests itself every day in this world in which we live. It is sophisticated, coded, and balanced. It is not an accident, nor are we. Throughout creation there is truth and meaning that points us to our creator, and that truth arrives and communicates on many levels.

The leaves are the solar collectors for the trees, which contribute to the process of photosynthesis and life and health to the trees.

In the fall, as the light diminishes, the leaves begin to transition as they store resources which will inject vital elements into the ground to feed the tree for another season of growth with the arrival of next spring. Yet in the midst of this we realize the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:1–2 (NIV): “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.”

There is a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to be born, and a time to die. There is a time to hang on, and a time to let go. One of the things that allows us to let go of something or someone is to take time appreciating them. Perhaps this is why God put color in the autumn leaves, so that we would notice that they are approaching departure, and we should take the time to value them and appreciate what they have contributed to life.

There is also a time to give thanks to God, as stated in Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV): “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

The Thanksgiving season should include a time of reflection and appreciation. We should set aside time to look around us at the faces of the people in our lives. Think of how valuable and important they are in your life. What if they were to depart tomorrow from your life? What would you miss? Take time to appreciate all the ways they bless your life. Take time to thank God for them and to thank them for being such a significant part of your life.

Reflect upon God, and how much your very existence depends upon him. Thank God for your body and working body parts. Thank God for his love for you, revealed in the fact that Jesus died in your place so that you could be restored to a right relationship with God. Thank God for the gift of eternal life through Jesus our Lord. Thank God for the ability to talk with him.

What do you have to be thankful for this year? Do you know? Do you value the people God has placed in your life? Do you value the life He has given to you? We are all only here for a season; appreciate those whom God has placed in your life today.

 

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.

 

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