Although we were driving through the winding roads of the Carolinas, I felt as if I was dancing with God under a canopy of color. You see, the leaves were changing their colors from green to red, purple, orange, yellow and even a dark chocolate brown! The colors popped even more because the sky was the bluest of blues I had ever seen and the wisps of white clouds seemed to be God’s signature in the sky. He was doing amazing things all around me with His creativity and His adoring love for all of us. It was a beautiful day even though sadness was in the car with us. Personal sadness for a friend and the ongoing, nagging sadness I have for my country. It just seems to linger around me all the time. Sigh.
As the colors zoomed past me on the winding road, I heard God whisper, “I told you change was coming.”
I whispered back, “I know God. But so much has changed. How can we change it back?”
And then I heard this:
“We are not going back. We are moving forward.”
Gulp. That moving forward thing was here again. That meant big change. Scary change. Oh dear – what lies ahead, kind of change. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that again. That change thing. But each time I changed was better than the change before (that would make a good country western song, don’t ya think?).
As I turned my attention back to the trees, I imagined what the leaves were thinking. Were they in fear of this new change? Were they screaming at each other: “What’s happening? I don’t like this. I like being green. What’s it like to be red? What color are you going to be? Oh my, help me God please, I’m scared to change!”
Then as if they had never been green before, they changed and turned into a beautiful new color almost overnight. Okay, this change thing isn’t so bad because the leaves enjoyed hearing the oohs and aahs they got from visitors who came to see them. So many people were taking their pictures and not being green wasn’t so bad after all. They began to dance in the wind and hang from the trees while putting on a show for all to see.
And then just as suddenly, something else begins to happen. They felt a tugging to leave the tree. They felt a release. It was happening a little bit at a time but they knew the only way to go was eventually — down! They didn’t want to go. It’s scary down there on the ground. They like hanging out with their leafy friends. They know this tree well and what will happen to them without the tree holding them? I could just hear them saying, “Nope – not doing it — I’m staying right here and hanging on for dear life!”
And then it happens and the leaves can’t control it. They hear the final snap from the tree and from all they have known about their life. They begin a slow, windy, scary fall to the ground below. They are “leaving” their friends who are still hanging on for dear life while watching them fall. They know they will be next because nothing ever stays the same — nothing. No matter how hard they try, they too, will fall one day.
As the leaf lands and lays there on the cold ground, she fears what will happen to her next. People might stomp on her. They might suck her up into one of those blower things. She might just lay there and have no purpose anymore. Oh dear, what will become of her? And just when the leaf thinks it is dead and gone — someone comes along and lovingly scoops it up and oohs and aahs again. They take her home and add her to a fall table scape; while others are raked up into leaf piles for kids to enjoy; and even others are turned it into mulch around the bed of the tree it fell from!
Life goes on for the leaf after leaving the tree behind. She has her own purpose. She has her own life adventure and she gets to travel places that the tree could never go. Being a leaf isn’t such a bad thing after all. And letting God change her gave her new experiences, new friends and new purposes for her life. She laughs at the next change in her life because she knows she will land safely and be of great purpose in the years ahead. Yes, she still has a purpose and it is good!
For those of you who fear change, get ready my leafy friends. It’s coming. You may not believe it. You may not want it. You may try to hang on to what you have here and now. But one day — and I think one day soon – all things will change and you’re going to have to change too. You might think you are in control but just watch the leaves and you’ll realize soon enough — you are not.
I once had a sign in my office that read, “Change is good. You go first.” I took it down because I’ve grown and now I want to be the first to let go of dead trees and jump into leaf piles and dance with God under his canopy of color. It’s fun and who in this world doesn’t want to have some fun? It’s not only fun, it’s healthy. It’s maturing. It’s moving forward — just like God whispered to me.
My friends, when change starts shaking your limb, I encourage you to let go and enjoy the ride of your life! God has something really cool in store for you. You just have to trust His masterplan for life. He is the Master of Life, after all. He made everything you see and He made you — my precious, sweet, courageous friends!
Enjoy this great song. Change is coming – let it start in me. I say, “Let it start in We!” Be a part of changing America too. She’s moving forward and a strong wind blowing across the USA. Jump in and let’s do this change thing!