It’s my favorite season of the year: that period of time from late September to right before Christmas, when the night air is crisp but the days are warm, when farmers are out in the fields, even after dusk, bringing in the harvest and when stores run out of pumpkin spice because of all the pumpkin pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice lattes consumed. And let’s not forget the apple harvest, apple pies, apple crisp, caramel apples and apple cider.
But what should we call it… Fall or Autumn? Which do you use? Originally, the season was called Harvest, but around the end of the 18th century, the British came up with two words to rename the season, Autumn and Fall. If you live in England or have an English background, you probably use the word Autumn, as it sounds a bit more classy, while no one knows exactly what it means or how the word is derived. The use of the word Fall was picked up by early Americans and today continues to be more popular in the United States. We all know where the idea of Fall came from, the beautiful colored leaves falling to the ground.
The Bible has a lot to say about leaves. In fact, quite often it equates the leaves of a tree to one’s spiritual life. For those who fail to seek God, Isaiah describes them as “an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.” [Isaiah 1:30] Moses tells the Israelites that when they rebel against God they will become so fearful that “a windblown leaf will put them to flight.” [Leviticus 26:36]
Yet for the one who is righteous, “He is like a tree planted by streams off water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” [Psalm 1:3] Solomon wrote in Proverbs 11:28, “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” Jeremiah wrote, “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:8]
So as we approach peak season, when leaves are most vibrant, which leaf best describes your walk with the Lord. Is it vibrant and bright, it is green and healthy, or is it withered and faded? Hopefully, it’s the former, as you continue to thrive in your spiritual walk with Christ. If it’s the later and your life seems distant from God right now, as the saying goes, “It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf,” to make a fresh start and begin a new chapter in your spiritual journey.