It is autumn. The leaves have changed, and the wind has a slight chill, reminding us of what will come. Autumn is God’s way of calling us to attention: Wake up! Stay awake! Be prepared!
Let us claim the colors of autumn in our lives. Brown holds for us stability, protection, endurance, and simplicity. Red holds for us passion, determination, love, and adventure. Orange holds balance, warmth, and freedom from our inner prisons, and magenta holds harmony. Finally, purple in autumn leaves prompts our vast imaginations, depths of spirituality, transformation, and wisdom. The new colors of the autumn leaves are but a glimpse into the richness and diversity of the loving life moments God has in store for us. So stay awake, and be present to all that really matters.
God has even gifted us the trees to remind us to stand tall and reach for God. They remind us to stay awake by being mindful of what is right in front of us. We may also practice this through the Examen, stillness and silence, or gratitude to stay spiritually awake and aware.
My parents taught me to give thanks to God for my daily bread. They also taught me to show gratitude when I receive gifts from others. However, sometimes I forget that thanksgiving should not only be practiced during the moments I get what I want, but even when I don’t. It is sometimes difficult to give thanks during moments in our lives when things aren’t going according to plan, and we feel that we have been cheated or given the short end of the stick. It is so easy to forget to give thanks for the gift of a new day. But that new day is a chance to reach out to those we love and even those who might need to know they are loved. It is a chance to enjoy and give thanks for good food, great friends, and wonderful family, even from a distance, and a chance to turn around and say, “Thank you, Jesus. I am well now in more ways than one.”
My friends, what are you thankful for this day? Speak those things aloud, write them down, reflect on them, remember them, and keep smiling about them, because when we fill our minds and hearts with gratitude, there will be no room for worry; gratitude and worry cannot share the same space in our hearts and minds. Yes, let us stay awake and present to all that really matters.
Autumn invites us to think about our expectations of others and ourselves. Autumn reminds us that God is with us. As the leaves change and fall, we are reminded that we will change, we will transform, and we will fall into God’s arms to wait for something new and wonderful to happen in our lives. During this time of waiting and longing for the birth of something extraordinary in our lives, whatever that may be, let us spend time preparing our hearts and renewing our spirits. It is in our longing and waiting that we encounter God. It is in our emptiness that we remember God’s whispers of love and courage.
Let go like the falling leaves, and let God surprise you.