Posted by: matt25 | October 19, 2016

Leaf Lesson

In many ways I have had a rough couple of months.  Thankfully however, I have been able to stay in good spirits as I deal with personal issues and circumstances not to my liking.  Yesterday nature seemed to echo that theme as the overcast sky muted, but did not hide, the beauty of the fall foliage from my eyes.  For some reason I have been so much more aware of the annual slow motion changes, noticing differences even in the course of individual days.  Then as I turned down the side street toward home, God gifted me with a life lesson.

There was a little boy, perhaps three years old, who was looking at a small pile of fallen leaves he had pulled together.  It couldn’t have been more than a foot or so wide, and up to his ankles deep.  Then he ran the few steps to get to it, enthusiastically jumped as high as his little legs could take him, and landed in the middle of the meager pile laughing for joy.

What do you think about when you think of the Autumn leaves after they inevitably end up on the ground?  Do you envision all of the extra yard work of raking them up?  Do you think about raking them into a big pile for your grandchildren to jump in?  Do you think about jumping joyfully in them yourself?  These questions swirled in my mind like an overture of gently falling red and yellow ideas ready for gathering, just before I broke out in a huge grin as I caught the spirt of infectious joy from that little boy.  Here was the real lesson to me.

As I progressed through life, I have developed a bit of an immunity to simple joys.  They are often muted and even hidden by circumstances and expectations.  Even if I held onto the joy of jumping in a pile of leaves, I would certainly envision a large deep pile, a pile worthy of calling a mountain of leaves, anything less would diminish my joy.   That is what I have learned from the world.  Yesterday God reminded me that I once was filled with wonder and joy in the experience of small and simple things.  That my expectations and desire to always have ” better and more” are barriers to accepting the gifts that He wants to give me each day.  Then I remembered the infectious joy that I have seen in the faces not only of a little boy, but on the face of a poor man in Uganda, a loved one in hospice care, a prisoner in jail, and sometimes, when I open my heart, the face in the mirror.

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