I love running in the Northwest in the middle of October. Salmon are running, turning bright shades of red and green in their upstream battle. Leaves turn impossible shades of cinnamon, mustard, and crimson. The sky is even a different color on a clear fall day. Today I was jogging on a trail near my house, when I came to a row of 20 maple trees, all in various states of transformation. I was so taken aback by the beauty, that I took my cell phone out and started snapping pictures at staccato speed. Well, as staccato of a speed as you can with a cell phone camera. I've posted them for your enjoyment. They are not stellar examples of photographic genius, just the whim of an inspired jogger. While I was snapping, A Switchfoot song was playing on the iPOD and the chorus rang out, "This is your life, are you who you wanna be?" I may have had a tear or two. I'm just saying.
So often, nature, God's incredible gift to us, holds a truth and inspiration that simply begs to be noticed. Today I dug my heels in and NOTICED. I picked up leaves, felt their texture in my hands and decided to be where I was. No planning, no looking toward my next appointment or to do list. I paused and accepted God's gift of beauty. I allowed myself the luxury of awe, the lavishness of reverence. I don't think God made a mistake when He decided to create autumn. The colors are passionate, fiery, scandalous even. A true reflection of who He is. Today the colors reminded me that God is endlessly passionate. Passionate for ALL his people, not just the ones who have it all together. Passionate about injustice. The Bible is SO clear that the poor are at the very top of his agenda. They also reminded me that he's passionate about me. That his heart burns, like the crimson leaves of a maple tree, for ME.