It’s as if I’m seeing it for the first time. Colors shift from green to a smattering of gold, orange and crimson. It begins at the apex and seeps downward. The speckle of warm shades leads to an onslaught of brilliant hues. After silently transpiring for days or weeks, it quickly vanishes. Blown away by gusty winds or rain storms, the multicolored leaf display exits until next autumn. Mesmerized by its beauty, I now see this milestone of changing seasons as a valuable gift.
I’ve watched leaves change colors since childhood. But over the last few years, it has taken on new meaning. Autumn brings difficult milestones for me and the splendor of fall colors has provided a different kind of milestone. This magnificence of shifting shades has become a seasonal reminder of God’s presence. It visually reminds me while I may face difficult moments, He has and always will be with me. Now, I acknowledge the sad while finding comfort in the everyday milestones.
Milestones were created to indicate the passage of distance. Marking distance with momentous events is important in life. It creates perspective. Distance can often provide clarity that closeness cannot. Recognizing milestones may take form in acts of remembrance, celebrations or everyday awareness. Taking note of all types of milestones not only generates memories but the very essence of our lives.
Each of our milestones are unique. Some are difficult, requiring distance to gain perception and healing. Some instantly create memorable moments we’ll celebrate for years. And others, like the leaves changing, provide a daily reminder of God’s faithfulness. I see these everyday milestones as even more important because they weave the fabric of our existence. They provide faithful examples to guide us through difficult and into celebratory moments.
When we allow God to display His majesty, presence and power in our small everyday spaces, we more clearly see Him and His will for us.
Paul eloquently describes this perspective shift in his letter to the Romans:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~Romans 12:2
The world around us may scream for us to be, feel or act a certain way. But God tells us to see and listen to Him for direction. He provides His Word, other people and everyday miracles to help us appreciate Him in this world. It’s up to us to choose to see Him each day.
I’m trying to focus on these small expressions of God in my life and point them out when appropriate to others. Sometimes they are just for me. Other times, the shared awareness is what is special.
- Seeing a child’s hidden smile as he accomplishes a goal.
- Sharing a spontaneous laugh at the end of a long day.
- Watching the sunset without need for words.
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However God is choosing to speak to you today, pay attention. It will create lasting memories but also remind you of His never ending presence. It may even help you see the next step on your journey with Him.