Growing up in the Midwest, I would anticipate autumn with a delight typical of kids who’d lived through a humid summer with little to no air conditioning. Who’d gotten bored with whatever activities no longer held their interest. Who missed friends and wanted to be out from under mom and dad’s watchful eyes.
The onset of fall did herald the beginning of school; a necessary evil in my eyes. But it also brought with it a crispness and brightness that magnified the vibrant colors of the leaves as they departed from their summer greenery.
The cooler weather was energizing; the colors were revitalizing. It was my favorite season of the year.
Until I moved to Florida.
Fall has arrived; the calendar has proclaimed that truth. There is no indication that anything is different. It’s still hurricane season; that doesn’t end till November 30. It’s still hot and humid; goodness knows when that will end. Green remains green; the color the leaves turn here is brown. Life to death. No in between.
The one familiar thing is the beginning of school. But this year has felt more like a sentence rather than a new beginning. Parents are put in positions of deciding the best case scenario for their children’s education, and often it’s more complicated than clear cut.
It’s still fall.
It’s not what I’d like.
My desire makes no difference whatsoever.
At a time when everyone senses the freedom to say what they want, criticize others for how they differ, and listen only to people who agree with them, the reality is we are all part of a greater picture of life here on earth.
What we want often doesn’t coincide with what others around us want.
That doesn’t mean what we want is wrong. It’s all about context and the bigger picture. What we ALL need.
When Jesus walked the earth, He made claims that no one had ever made before; He claimed to be God. He spoke of God as His Father. A claim that irritated many people.
The Jewish nation was waiting for the promised Messiah, the One who would free them from the captivity they historically had found themselves in time and again. The belief of the day was that this Messiah would be a Warrior King who would save them from their current predicament with Rome.
A great desire.
What Jesus offered was a salvation for eternity, not just from their temporary discomfort. A hope to be free from the consequences of bad choices and worse actions.
He brought the hope they longed for; it didn’t look like what they expected.
Nobody realized their dream was too small, their hope, too narrow. They didn’t see the big picture.
If we want change in our world, it needs to be for everyone. We can’t ignore those we don’t agree with; we lose sight of a grander reality.
This fall isn’t what I would have asked for, but somewhere there are those who see it clearly, in all its brilliance and crispness.
We all need to look past our own blinders to a greater reality.
Way more colorful.