Growing up in the Shenandoah region of the United States, autumn was always a special time for me. Much like the hues of a beautiful sunset, the colors of autumn in western Virginia reliably left their mark on my memory each year. And, just as reliably, each year the “Leaf Peepers” came out by the hundreds to see the hills and mountains “catch fire” when the leaves turned bright and the season “fell.”
You may live in a region as beautiful as the Shenandoah, where the annual show of colors makes the autumn a special time. You may have memories like mine, in which the fall colors evoke memories not only of sight, but also sound, smell, touch, and even taste—as anyone familiar with apple butter churning or the plethora of other fall pastimes might know!
This year, from Vermont to Georgia, and from the U.S. to Canada and Europe, many in the Northern Hemisphere will observe or have already observed the great beauty of the seasonal change. After spending long months under pandemic regulations, the vibrant colors have undoubtedly been all the more welcome. If you have the chance to get out and be a "Leaf Peeper," cherish it with someone!
Amidst great beauty, there is much to be grateful for, especially if you can take time out to experience it. With “The Year 2020” bringing so much trouble, it is now a better time than ever to build an attitude of thanksgiving.
Of course, not everyone lives in a place where the fall colors form a striking feature during this time of year. Even so, regardless of where in the world you might be—or what season is “marching in”—take a moment to give thanks, not just for the blessings you might have (and certainly not as if to say, “At least I’m not like those suffering people over there”!), but for the actual capacity to take in even the simple joy of watching the seasons change.
Turning seasons are convenient reminders that we only have so much time in each day, and that there is value and positive encouragement even in times when things may be going wrong—as we seem to see more and more. Were this not true, then the apostle of Jesus Christ known as Paul might not have been inspired to write these words: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16). As we look around, we should see that those words are just as meaningful today as when they were first written—if not more so!
Remember that there will always be opportunities to reach out, encourage, and share your own positive experiences—and that sometimes the simplest gestures mean the most. Volunteering your time, sending a postcard, even simply smiling and learning to positively greet others, can become very real ways to share your life and add a splash of color to the lives of those around you.
Paul immediately left his audience with a higher admonition: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). No matter how evil the days are, God has a purpose for your life and experiences; be sure to order the free booklet Your Ultimate Destiny to find out more.
In the meantime, take an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the fall season, or whatever your local area may have to offer (maybe even send some pictures to someone who might be feeling a bit dreary!), and check out “Keys to Happiness” today.