|Leaves in Water - photo by Marcia Lee Laycock|
By Marcia Lee Laycock
It’s been a glorious Fall here in central Alberta, Canada. My husband and I drive through this area of our province every month, delivering books to grocery stores and pharmacies and we both commented, on this last “book run,” how vibrant the colours are this year – how long the leaves have stayed on the trees and how the early morning light makes them glow. “The most beautiful Fall I’ve seen in some time,” my husband commented.
I agree. I’m originally from the eastern part of our country, Ontario, where the Autumn erupts in a blaze of scarlet and gold. Here in the west we don’t have the maple trees that light up the hills like fire and I usually miss that. But this year, this Fall, the yellows and golds have been so vibrant it has often taken my breath away.
One day I found myself thinking, if this is the last Fall I ever see, its beauty would be enough. It reminded me of a time when I was riding through the mountains with friends. It was a beautiful summer day, a soft breeze blowing, birds singing, the sky a vibrant blue, the mountains towering around us capped with gleaming snow. The man ahead of me turned in his saddle, smiled and said, “I could die happy right now.”
I remembered that moment and I wondered, what if this is my last Autumn? What if I never again see another Fall like this? I suppose it’s because I’ve been diagnosed with cancer twice that my thoughts sometimes go in that direction. Some might think it morbid to dwell on such things, but I’ve found it has the opposite effect on me. Rather than cause me to feel depressed, it causes me to look around more, to open my eyes and see the beauty around me, the beauty that mirrors the glory of God. And it makes me smile.
The old Westminster catechism says that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” I believe we glorify Him when we enjoy His creation, when we look around us and smile. I believe that makes Him smile too, because He created it all for us, to show us His character, His incomparable brilliance and His deep deep love for us.
And then I realize that all this beauty, as stunning as it can be at times, is only a pale reflection of the glory I will some day see. Some day I will be taken from this earth and I will no longer see the fall colours or feel the spring rains or photograph that particular shimmering light on a summer morning. But I will see Jesus, face to face, in all His radiance. I’m quite sure I won’t be thinking about what I’m missing on earth at that moment.
I’m quite sure I will be thankful for all I was given in my time on this earth and thankful beyond words for the sacrifice of a God who was willing to step away from His position in the Godhead and become a man who would suffer and die so that we can one day stand in His presence without fear of condemnation.
Yes, it’s been a glorious Fall. And one day, because “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure,” (Hebrews 6:19) it will be a glorious day to die happy.
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