The fall time of the year is such a colorful time in our lives. The green lush spring is now infused with trees of many fall colors as they will soon start to turn brown and litter the ground reminding us of just how short life is. Scientist say that leaves change color as the daylight hours draw shorter and it becomes cooler in the night. A biochemical processes in the leaves begin to paint the landscape with Nature’s autumn palette. Pretty soon the drab and the now deadened leafs will fall to the ground and blow like chaff in the wind. But it wasn’t that long ago that the days began to get longer and the brown and gray vegetation became vibrant and green with life and that time will soon come again! Cultivators will go out to work preparing and planting. Warmth will come with insects and pollination and gentle rain for nourishment. But for now, the season of growth nearing its end, and we look for nature’s lifeless period in its’ next season, a season of dormancy.
Our earthly life also has seasons. At times there is newness of life and also at times a bit drab or demise. Newness of life is at its peak when we Christians find repentance and forgiveness. This is our cultivating season and our Lord sends His grace for pollination which for us repentant is the spreading of His love through our acts of love. And His mercy rains down on us quenching our Godless drought of our self-love and self-pity. And in this time of spiritual growth, we move closer to the Divine and our healthy lush colors are full of life.
Forgetting to put God first in all things brings darkness over our souls and we begin our decent into the drab colorless dormant seasons in our lives. Turning from God severs our eternal nutrient supply. In the last number of years my wife has noticed another color change in me. On occasion, she sees a color change in my face. Redness appears in my checks if my blood pressure is elevated. Sometimes this redness occurs if I am hustling about doing tasks but mostly if I am experiencing anger with my fellow man or my loving wife. As far as my health is concerned, I am getting older but I do not make much time to stay in shape and I do not always take into consideration the nutritional foods that I need to eat. However, the fast will be here soon to help me with this! Maybe with all the leaves arriving in my yard I can gain some exercise by raking and gathering them. And as far as my spiritual health, I continue to be angered by my fellow man instead of looking inward, blowing like a dead leaf in the wind. My type “A” personality blinds me and my world at times only contains little ole me! I fail to exercise my soul as I forget my salvation and His love for creation. Saint John of Damaskos says: “Without practice and preparation it is not possible for anyone to attain deification (theosis) and communion with God.”
In my busyness, I don’t take ample time to help my brother, Lazarus (Lk 16:29). Maybe if I knew when my earthly expiration date was, I would spend more time being about my Father’s business. Maybe if I spend more time reading about Moses and the prophets rather than wasting my life away on electronic entertainment or worrying about COVID or the election, I would be better prepared for the next life and the judgment in which all my deeds will surely be made known. Rest assured, our days on this Earth are numbered and the pursuit of purple and fine linen takes away the time we have been given to be the church. We cannot allow the winds of time to blow us around where the winds will take us! We need to put our salvation as the most important task in our lives! We need to stay in the season of lush growth springing our souls to be more like God, finding out salvific nutrients in the deep fertile soil of Orthodoxy, and becoming more vibrant and alive in the Holy Sacraments of the church. Less of me, More of Him! May our color be one of vibrance through the life-sustaining blood of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
Fr. Gabriel Weller 11-2020 / 11-5-17