Driving past the family home as gloomy grayish blue clouds dim the brilliance of the autumn leaves, I noticed a piece of garbage in one of the flowerbeds. Making a mental note to stop on my way from work to pick up the unsightly litter, a whispering voice floated through my brain.
What are you doing about the messy state you allowed yourself to be in the last few months? What are you doing about the scattered indifference to the enjoyed interests that once reminded you of Me? I know you are grieving. However, you allow circumstances around you to dictate how you feel and respond. Wake up! Change your focus. I Am still here. Clear the debris and enjoy Me.
In just a few weeks, the Autumnal equinox will mark the first day of the fall season, my favorite time of year. The thought of autumn brings memories of raking leaves to jump in with my children, sitting on the porch while drinking in the crisp morning air over a hot cup of coffee, and the desire to plan a trip to the Lancaster, PA area for shopping at The Green Dragon and other farmer’s markets. On one such trip, my daughter and I happened upon an Amish farm’s fruit/veggie/flower stand. While going over the selection of produce, my eyes traveled to two large assortments of potted mums with beautiful vivid blossoms. One assortment had an interesting label, Not so Pretty, with a ridiculously low price per pot posted amongst them. The only difference between the two groups was the not so pretties did not have the full, tight-mounded look so characteristic of this perennial flowering plant. Hmmm… the not so pretty title implied a defect making them less favorable and of lesser value, separating them from their fuller, more attractive counterpart. Hmmm… we do the same with people; separating them into groups, playing favorites, based on what we perceive to be a shortcoming. (James 2:1-4) If we stop to think about it, the only thing that separates ourselves is how we think about things. Thankfully, there is a God Who does not play favorites. (Deuteronomy 10:17, Acts 10:34-35, Romans 2:11) He loves us all equally and wants to see everyone come to know Him for Who He is. (John 3:16, Romans 1:16, 2 Peter 3:9)