I couldn’t tell the difference, honestly! I stood and looked at the clock and watched, from 4:33 PM, as the last eleven minutes of summer ebbed away. I looked out the window and tried to see if the sun had changed into the more golden sun of Fall. I took a minute to get a drink of water and then went to the bathroom ready to receive the new season and I couldn’t believe what had happened! It was 4:39! I completely missed it! Did anyone else see it make its debut as summer crept out with a few passing clouds? Is the time I could have balanced a raw egg on its end? See, I totally missed out, very depressing. But now I get to watch as all the trees on our tree-lined streets began their time of “Golding”.
It’s my favorite season of the year and makes me want to go shopping for school clothes and sweaters, pencils to sharpen and bags of roasted peanuts at a high school football game. My dad always made the same comment every year as we rode along and observed the different colors of the trees, he would say as if we had never heard it before, “This is the time of year when you can tell what every tree is by the color it turns.” As I looked at all the tall trees right outside of my windows standing, like soldiers, around my house I remembered his words! As the leaves change colors they are a beautiful sight. I can see trees in every color, including green. During the summer they are all green. Looking at them green is beautiful also, but I can’t identify what they are as they stand so close together. As the weather changes they begin to show who they are. Soon we will see not just green but the reds, yellows, rich browns, paler yellows of the Horse Chestnut, Maple, Red Oak, Sycamore, Sweet Gum and Sour wood, all dressed in the majestic colors that signal they are about to take their winter nap. Then I thought of how fast this year has gone by, seems we were just discussing New Year’s Resolutions and Christmas is twelve weeks from now.
I will judge you by myself and say that I have not done all I wanted, or planned. Let’s check ourselves: 2 Cor.13: 5-9 Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise. We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you.
What color are you when winter begins to set in? Are you red, washed in the blood of Jesus? Are you yellow, running away from duties/commitments of a spouse, parent, Christian? Are you green, the always dependable, flexible, stable Pine tree Christian that the storms of life blow upon without devastation? My dad used to say he wanted to be like a Geranium, it can be on a Palace terrace, or live in the gutter, it will bloom just as beautifully where ever it is, nothing delicate about that. I have faced some mighty winds in the past few years, especially since daddy left, but I like to think that I am standing strong in the face of the wind, knowing that I am rooted deeply in the faith that my Redeemer lives, that all things work together for my good, and that if I am faithful to His Word and live to please Him, then it won’t be long before this spiritual person that is trapped within flesh walls, will be released to go home, back to where I came from, to be re-united with friends and loved ones that have made the trip ahead of me.
The maple, oak, sweet gum Christians may be beautiful, but the pine is still standing after all the glorious color of the other’s leaves have, not only turned brown, but fallen to the ground, leaving the bare limbs to face the wind. No matter how old or young you are, examine yourself to see if there is something that needs correction or you can do to be rooted more deeply.
It seems like only a few months ago that I was a young mother taking my children to school, worrying about vaccinations, a burst appendix, broken hearts, and now I am grandmother to their children, guardian to my aging parents and, hopefully, extending the branches of my spiritual tree to cover those of you that need it, by way of this Devotion, or in prayer. Give yourself a spiritual exam today and tell me, “What color are you?”