The fall time of the year is such a colorful time in our lives. The green lush spring is now infused with trees of color. Scientist believe 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 brilliant colors will become drab and the now deadened leafs will fall to the ground and blow into my yard. But it wasn’t that long ago that the days began to get longer and the brown and gray vegetation became green with life. Cultivators went to work preparing and planting. Warmth came with insects and pollination and gentle rain for nourishment. And now with the season of growth nearing its end, we look for nature’s lifeless period in its’ next season.
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 love. And His mercy rains down on us quenching our Godless drought of self-love and self-pity. And in this time of spiritual harvest, we move closer to the Divine and our healthy colors are brilliant and vibrant.
Forgetting to put God first in all things brings darkness over our souls and we begin our decent into the drab colorless season 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. This redness occurs if I am hustling about doing tasks or if I am experiencing anger with my fellow man. As far as my health is concerned, I am getting older but I do not make time to stay in shape and I do not always take into consideration the nutritional foods that I eat. 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 me! I fail to exercise my soul as I forget my salvation. 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 than wasting my life away on electronic entertainment I would be better prepared for the next life and the judgment in which all my deeds will 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 growth springing our souls to be more like God, finding our salvific nutrients in the deep fertile soil of Orthodoxy and becoming more vibrant in the Holy Sacraments of the church. Less of me, More of Him!
Fr. Gabriel Weller 11-5-17