Working in a garden or spending time outdoors regularly, you get a real appreciation for the seasons – especially fall.
Living in Atlanta, summer seems to brutally hang on. Then, like the flip of a switch, temperatures pleasantly drop and a cool breeze wafts in and pushes the humidity out.
Yes, I linger and take in the intoxicating landscapes of color – warm earthy hues of mums bursting in wine-colored blooms while the leaves of the hardwood trees quickly change to yellow, orange and deep red. All that bright beauty is punctuated by crisp air, plush green grass, evergreens, and an azure blue sky.
Ah, fall. How can you not appreciate the season? And, how can you not be tempted to take a break and visit a fall festival? Tantalizing scents of apples hugged by caramel coating, hand-spun cotton candy and other seasonal fare.
Pondering the decadence of such treats, I had a fleeting thought about personal character. Uh . . . yes, really. Possibly it was an urge to address “fall cleaning” on the inside – the kind that requires a little extra time with God to regain personal clarity and to forgive those who have disappointed me.
In a quirky way, I realize someone’s character can resemble either one of those ‘treats.’
Larger than life, so sweet it almost makes your teeth hurt, all puffed-up and putting on a good show, yet in reality, it’s quite hollow in substance. It tends to stain the flesh it touches, even a huge bite disappointedly melts in a split second, and it’s greatly lacking in nutritional value. (No surprise here – 100% man-made.)
Sweet, pliable and flavorful outer coating, yet still sweet and aromatic, juicy on the inside and so much more substance underneath and real substance remains even when a big bite is taken out of it. And of course, apples are much more satiating and nutritious. (No surprise – this treat is a gift from God, yes the humble and versatile apple.)
Now take a minute to consider the state of your own character. If you are a believer, then tell God and thank Him as you receive His discernment, grace, comfort and peace as you take responsibility to walk out your faith.
Remain thankful for the many blessings in your life and how He uniquely created you and has invited you to participate in all the seasons of life. Be encouraged and restored.
For the almost devoured candied apple:
“Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly you are wasting away, yet inwardly you are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
For the temporary case of cotton candy-itis:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4