My second favorite season is autumn. Of course, those who know me realize my first is Winter because I'm a snow nut. Yes, I proudly wore my snowflake on TV taunting snow haters (I call them Snow Communists). I love fall because of the drop in temperatures and humidity after a long Hampton Road's summer. I love seeing the kids go back to school so they can learn and be productive members of society. (O.K. That was a lie! If I heard my nine-year-old boy whine one more time that he's bored, I'll scream. He stopped that once I showed him how to operate a lawn mower and rake.)
I really love to see the leaves change color. November is prime season for fall colors on the peninsula and a drive on the Colonial Parkway is a must for residents of the region. Since I believe that God created the earth to project His power and might, I also believe that creation points us to the Creator. And that gets me to my point. Why is that before a leaf withers and dies it shines so brightly? What causes it to turn a bright yellow or red before it falls to the earth. Yes, I know the scientific principle involved but how about the spiritual principle?
Leaves are like people. You see, human beings need to give up what they want and refocus their attention on the needs of others. The greatest joy a person can experience is not serving themselves but rather serve others. The spiritual principle is to die to self and be born anew to a different life; a life designed by God to serve Him and his creation (people). Baptism shows this truth. When a person is dunked in the baptismal waters, the biblical truth is they never come up! They drown...dead...and are born again with a fresh new purpose in their lives.
When a leave is nearing death, the most beautiful part of it suddenly appears out of nowhere. Scientifically, the colors were always there yet they couldn’t appear until it neared the death cycle. And we all marvel at the colors. When a person dies to self, the best part of them shines with a brilliance that gets people to stand up and take notice. This is the desire of God. He wants His creation, be it the mountains or ocean, the butterflies or the bees, the autumn leaves, or the apple of His eye, human beings, to point people to Him and His wonderful creative power.
Do you want to see this truth revealed in politics? Take a look at this Washington Post electoral map sometime and see who voted conservative and who voted liberal. Now look at a Pew Forum list of states and their church attendance. You can see how voting lines up with church attendance. If you live in the city, you are more likely to vote liberal and not attend church while those who live in the country are more likely to vote conservative and attend church regularly. You may be wondering what's the point? The Bible certainly lines up with those who are conservative in their social, moral beliefs. People who live in the country see God's power because they live and breath within His environment. Since they spend more time closer to nature and God, they are more likely to follow Him. In the city, urbanites are surrounded by what man created leading them to more readily dismiss God and His omnipotent hand. Of course, this is a generalization that is not specific to any individual.
If you find yourself straying from God and have not recently considered the spiritual truths that nature affords us all, get away for a day and take a road trip outside the urban congestion.
1. Go to Williamsburg and experience the natural surroundings that our Founding Fathers witnessed as they began formulating the greatest plan for limited government the world has ever seen.
2. Drive the Colonial Parkway from Yorktown all the way to its dramatic ending along the James River.
3. When you drive this road…try a novel approach. Go slower than the posted speed limit, suck in the scenery as if you are taking your first deep breath in years, and take your watch and cell phone and toss them in the trunk.
Before God can open our eyes to see Him, we must get rid of the distractions that keep us from looking.