This fall has been crazy busy, but again and again I found myself standing on the back porch just drinking in the beauty around me. I want the leaves in all their glory to stay put. I want to say to them, “Don’t fall! You’re so beautiful. Below you’ll see a few pictures from my back porch.
As often as we could, but not nearly often as I would like, Wayne and I hiked trails through the woods. One of my favorite trails is along the Swannanoa River that courses through the park and campus at Montreat College. It’s a noisy hike in the fall. Have you ever noticed how loud dry leaves can sound? The rattle of dry leaves flapping on the ends of thin branches in the gentle breeze call for me to stop and watch. Squirrels and even lizards moving in the leaf piles at the foot of tall trees makes them sound much bigger and more threatening than they are. Or the sound of leaves dancing around in a whirl of dizzying wind, a tiny whirl-wind that blows out as quickly as it comes. And the voice of the water as it tumbles over rock piles, gurgling and laughing as the path twists around and over the rippling stream. The peaceful, wonderful and soothing sounds of fall.
I watch the leaves tumble or float, while others whirl and twirl as they leave the tree where they’ve worked since spring. Sometimes the wind catches the leaves, blowing them off the trees until it looks like it is raining leaves.
But if you are an adult, falling isn’t fun. It’s funny to someone else, but it’s not fun. Just a side note, why is it watching people fall down is so hilarious? And I’m not the only person that laughs when someone falls. America’s Funniest Videos (AFV) celebrated 500 episodes and 22 years of laughing at people fall. Which only proves falling is funny, as long as they don’t get hurt and it’s not you!
But far too often falling isn’t funny and people do get hurt. Ask my friend that broke her wrist from a recent fall. Or my neighbor that was holding a ladder for her husband, when he missed a rung on the ladder, he tumbled down, onto his wife. While it was a soft landing for him, it was a broken leg for her. Falling wasn’t funny to either of them.
So my advice—don’t fall!
Are you thinking, “Yeah? And how am I gonna keep from falling?”
So glad you asked! While carefulness and determination are part of surefootedness, you need more. You can get hurt if you fall physically, but you can hurt your testimony and yourself worse if you fall spiritually. By falling, I mean fall into sin, fall into rebellion or depression or even resentment.
Paul offers some powerful God breathed advice on how not to fall.
2 Peter 1:5-10 nlt So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything! (Quoted- Source is widely argued.)
Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.