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Lesson of the Leaf
Photo: Donice M. Palmer
What is your favorite season? I appreciate the beauty of autumn and anticipate and admire it every year. I often take pictures of fall’s flamboyant redecoration process.

Last autumn I took a picture of a couple Sassafras leaves that hung closely together after many others had fallen. That picture inspired the poem below. I imagined how the two leaves might perceive their changing roles as the seasons pass, and I pondered the seasons of our lives.

Like the leaves, we each have our vibrant, youthful spring full of growth and change. While we mature in the summer, we have much to offer. Some people and leaves reach loftier heights, but together we all provide shelter for those who live with us and give refreshing shade to friends passing through.

By early autumn a few age spots begin to show, but our character and true colors shine through and begin to glow. Each day the chilly wind of time reminds us that seasons and life are fleeting. As the reds and golds fade to brown and fall to the ground, it is such a let down.

After reflecting on the changing roles of a leaf, I was impressed by the realization that one of the leaves most important functions is its lowest, most unattractive job. When the leaf dies and decays, it adds nutrients to the soil for other plants or for the tree from which it came.

Is it the same for us? Our greatest contributions may come from lowly, humble, undesirable jobs and not when we are at the pinnacle of growth or in a season of success like autumn’s grandeur.

Jesus’ life also had brief, but beautiful seasons. His ministry had a simple beginning that grew and expanded as His teaching reached far and His healing touched multitudes. Many people had lofty aspirations for Jesus and wanted to declare Him king. Not long after His short, celebrated ride into Jerusalem, bitter winds blew that dream quickly away to what appeared to be the worst part of His life, His apparent defeat at the cross and subsequent death. But rising from the lowest point, His death, His true greatness and glory were soon revealed and His mission was completed.

I find this lesson from the leaf and Jesus to be intriguing and humbling. Are we ready to accept the tasks of all seasons as willingly as Jesus and the leaf?

A Tale of Two Leaves

One leaf said to another,
in the spring I was made,
in the summer I gave shade,
in autumn I showed my colors,
my beauty was like no other,
now I’m losing my grip
and turning brown,
it is such a let down,
to think of leaving this lofty perch,
makes me question my worth,
I have a new job to do,
and it’s going to take
some getting use to,
but I know our Maker has a reason,
for each and every season.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

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By Donice M. Palmer. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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