Fall in New England
I love fall in New England. Autumn brings a change in the air; warm days and cooler nights. The treasures of harvest time bring feelings of excitement and gratefulness. And most loved of all is the wave of color that surrounds us as summer comes to an end. Locals and people from all over the world come to New England to see the colorful countryside and enjoy the fruits of harvest. We call them “Leaf-peepers”.
Driving along the highway last weekend I admired the color beginning to burst forth. I noted that it was most prominent in the valleys. I even saw a few beaver dams and I thought how wonderful nature was and how people that drove this way every day probably didn’t even notice.
In the past few years I have intentionally tried to take notice of and enjoy all the little things. Every day we pass by the wonders of nature without really seeing. We miss the sights and sounds and smells all around us…..why? We are too busy, too glued to electronics, too tired trying to multi-task…and we are missing out on joy and LIFE! In Psalm 92:4 we read:
O Lord, you have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
We can enjoy the beauty of the autumn colors while walking or driving or even when stuck in traffic . Look for graceful deer and funny looking turkeys. Stop to watch the squirrels as they do a balancing act on the wires above. No matter how bad the day or whatever the season we can choose to see and enjoy God’s beauty. By using our eyes we can lift our heads out of the mundane and refresh our souls.
Lately our social media has been filled with disaster, tragedy and lots of violence. Watching and reading all of this “stuff” continually can be really heart breaking and depressing. It’s not healthy to constantly dwell on the negative, even if it is true.
Think on these things
The Bible gives us guidelines on how to think about circumstances to lift our spirits.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:8-9 ESV
By watching nature of any kind we can learn life lessons. The birds and animals know what to do for each season. They focus on the one task before them, whether it is gathering food, fixing a borough or tending to their young.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Matt. 6:25-26 ESV
Obviously, animals don’t have bills to pay or any agenda for the day. But we can choose what we see, how we think and how we react. To restore joy in everyday life take time to “stop and smell the roses”… “gaze at the passing clouds”… “look up in wonder at the starry night sky” and look for the “patches of color” that are along the way.