October 28, 2015

Death to Life, or Why I Love the Fall

It's my first October in Virginia, and this desert-raised girl has been eagerly anticipating the fall color. Almost overnight, the leaves have exploded into brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows.

I love the fall. Winter, not so much. But spring? Spring is my favorite.

It seems a bit morbid to love watching the process of leaves dying. And then, depending on the length of seasons where you live, you get to sit in that death for weeks or months. Winter has its own beauty, but it can also be dark and desolate, cold and bitter. Sometimes it seems endless.

But then spring always comes. Spring displays the brilliancy of life, new life, fresh life. Cast against our memory of the stark bleakness of winter, spring's hues seem even brighter and more lively.

As I looked out on the beauty of fall in my yard this morning, I was reminded of the verses from Sunday's sermon, particularly, Colossians 1:5a:
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.
 I love fall. And I hope that when it comes my time to die, I am able to die as beautifully as the leaves of a maple or aspen, all the the glory of God. If I do, it will be because I'm anticipating a glorious spring, the ultimate spring of heaven.

As Jeff told us Sunday, who or what we hope in will define how we think and live. Does my hope of heaven have any bearing on how I live? My future heavenly home should define and give meaning to my life and the way I live. For now, I need God's help to live in that anticipation each day, to allow that hope laid up for me in heaven to inform my heart and behavior.

Who or what do you hope in? How does this shape your daily life?

* (Sorry, summer. Our many years together in the Phoenix area and the Deep South have left us with a love/hate relationship.)

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