Cornerstone Family Ministries
"Individual and Family Wholeness"

Newsletter October 2008

Autumn Leaves

This morning I got up and went upstairs to watch the sunrise through the big window looking out over our back yard and the meadow stretching out beyond that. What a treat it was to watch the sunlight pouring through the golden birch and cottonwood leaves that had a touch of frost glistening on them. There wasn’t even a puff of wind blowing so the scene was devoid of motion except for an occasional leaf that would sever its ties from a tree and float gently to the ground. Perhaps a minute would go by between falling leaves. Tranquility and beauty combined with the Master’s paintbrush are certainly soothing to the soul.

As I stood there taking in the ambience of the scene before me, my mind started processing the short moment of flight that each one of those falling leaves got to experience in their departure from the heights of the trees. I started counting, “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand -three…“ and discovered that from the highest cottonwood to the ground, it took about three seconds for a leaf to make its one and only journey through space. Now I am sure the winds of fall will blow the leaves around the yard a bit but the flight of a lifetime from tree to ground was over. I sat down with a pencil and paper and did a little math. From the time the leaves pop out with their little mouse-ear-sized leaves sometime in early May or thereabouts, they are attached to the same tree in the same spot for the duration of their lifespan….approximately five months. There are 1,290,000 seconds that lapse over a five month span. So, for three seconds out of over a million, a leaf gets a brief taste of adventure before it takes its place on the forest floor perhaps providing a hiding place and insulation for a mosquito that will winter there and emerge after a long winter to announce the arrival of yet another spring.

What occurs to me is the incredible rhythm that God has set in motion in His creation, including in each of us as we make our brief journey through life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says that “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…” etc. The scriptures also tell us that God sending His son to die for us was accomplished “in the fullness of time.” God really is a God of timing and rhythm and it seems to me that just as there is a rhythm to the tides and seasons and of life itself, there is also a sense of rhythm in our individual lives. As with the seasons, there seems to be a repeating rhythm in our lives of new beginnings…of watering…growing…maturing and then that short but exciting time of harvest and celebration followed by a time of rest and reloading for another cycle.

I know for some people, spring is the most exciting time of the year for them. For others it is another of the seasons. For me, autumn is the time of year when I feel the most creative and productive. I tend to just drink in the beauty and sensations that come with autumn. I love watching and smelling the fallen leaves and pungent berries and the hearing the sounds of geese, ducks and sandhill cranes getting their formations in order for the long journey south. There is a certain peacefulness that comes with knowing that another busy summer has come and gone, the freezer is full and the lawn tools collected and put in their winter storage places. Once the first snowflakes start to flutter down from the sky in a few weeks, it will be time to look back at the pictures of all of our guests and remember their joy at catching their first salmon or seeing their first whale. But for now, let me encourage you to meditate on the second verse of the old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness…”

Summer and winter, and spring-time and harvest,
Sun moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness , mercy and love.

God bless you.
Pastor Wayne


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