I saw a quote this week that said, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”
Leaves look so much better when they are transitioning. Their colors change into brilliant hues of oranges, reds and yellows and instantly, they make us pause to admire them.
Harvard’s website goes into great detail about the process: “Leaves change color during the autumn because the amounts of pigments change as the leaves prepare to fall from the trees. All leaves gradually lose chlorophyll during the growing season, and this loss accelerates before leaf fall. Under optimal conditions this process of chlorophyll loss is very orderly and allows the plants to resorb much of the nitrogen in the structure of the pigment molecule.”
I’m not really sure what that means, but it sounds a bit too clinical for my reflective nature. I prefer this simpler explanation, even if I don’t agree that their reason for transformation isn’t beautiful: “While the leaves in their autumn hues are beautiful, the reason behind their transformation is anything but. We are, in essence, watching the leaves starve themselves and die.”
Transformation is frightening. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the process, and the fear of loss keep us from desiring it. But without the transformation process, we’d remain unchanged. And as much as humans tend to hate change, it’s necessary — at least for the Christian.
In Romans 6:6-8 (ESV), the apostle Paul says this: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
As you drive down old country roads or sit around the fire pit this fall and you find yourself admiring the beauty that springs forth from the death of leaves, consider your own spiritual transformation. It may be frightening and painful, but it’s beautiful in God’s sight.