I can’t resist stepping out into the brilliant fall sunshine for my walk and quiet time. With a nearly cloudless azure blue sky, the air is crisp and clean--fresh, like sheets that have hung outdoors on a clothesline. The only sound I hear is the wind stirring the fallen leaves, and a distant bark of a dog.
It’s a brisk 56 degrees and I zip up my jacket to ward off the October chill. The landscapers have groomed and tidied flower beds with smiling purple pansies, surrounding them with a fresh blanket of straw along the main boulevard. Leaves on the Bradford pear trees are just beginning to turn orange and brown, framing the backdrop for tall, pungent pine and yellow sweetgum. A furry, busy little chipmunk scurries across the wildlife meadow in front of me, searching for food or perhaps getting his exercise, like me. I pause long enough to admire him sporting his stripped fur coat of brown and tan.
It’s so beautiful and peaceful, you could almost close your eyes and imagine hiking in the mountains far away from the suburban sprawl. As the sunlight kisses my brow, I turn my face upward to soak in the warm rays and gaze at a lone hawk soaring across the sky, gliding along the updraft of the morning breeze. A golden butterfly dips down to drink nectar from purple blossom of the butterfly bush.
It’s a wonderful time to be alive and I feel invigorated and restored, soaking in the peace from nature’s very powerful presence. The sun feel’s good and I begin to finally warm up.
Near the nature trail, I stop, lean over the rail, and look down at the creek, not much more than a trickle, gurgling over the stones. The sunlight dances in merrily, touching the towering trees and rooftops with radiance, as the leaves shimmer in its light. The limbs of a weeping willow stir in answer to the wind’s sighs, and I think with delight about things to come.
God placed the nature around us so we could understand His presence and magnificence, and be reminded of Him. Only a divine creator could produce the fragile balance of life throughout spring, summer, fall and winter, each with its unique splendor and design.
How many people living behind the windows of these superb homes, have taken time to notice such splendid surroundings, or thought of life’s delicate blueprint or even each other? Most families are so busy working and raising children and planning their agenda that they often forget what nature has to reveal.
Just last year I was in Montana with its unlimited sky and mountains and was drawn close to God’s presence. No matter where you are, He is there, pursuing and wooing us like a lover. No wonder we are called the Bride of Christ* even in our imperfections, because of His perfection, we are made worthy.
Turning toward to home, I see fragrant pink roses tumble over stack stone, and bright orange pumpkins flanking a cheerful scarecrow on a park bench. Color bursts of fall are everywhere, hinting at the glory to come. Then autumn will put on winter’s mantle of chill, pulling our thoughts inward as we reflect on God’s goodness at Thanksgiving.
Take time today to be still, look and listen, or you will miss out on the call, as He gently draws you to Him by the very beautiful canvas painted by His hand.
*Revelation 21:9b-“Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” NASB