The Fallen Leaf: Your Purpose
In the past, I’ve been asked what my favorite season is and I’ve always struggled to answer. I love different aspects of each season. I like the process of transition and I like the knowledge that it will soon change again.
When Autumn arrives, I cherish the changing colors of the trees and the crunch of fallen leaves under my feet as I walk through the woods. Leaves fluttering through the air as they fall to the Earth is one of the most peaceful moments I can think of (next to watching snow fall slowly).
Does the leaf know its lifespan is over? Does it know it’s fulfilled its role for the tree?
Is the leaf able to recognize that it’s about to create joyful play-space for small children and dogs as they jump into piles? Is it able to recognize that it’s about to fertilize the ground beneath the tree, continuing to provide nutrients for the tree and the vegetation nearby?
In the same way that the leaf has continued purpose, even after it falls from the tree, we have purpose in transitions during our Christian walk.
- As you step down from a committee at church, you are steered towards a different ministry.
- As you complete a Bible Study, you are given opportunity to share what you learned with others.
- As you watch others leave your church, you are able to volunteer in new roles.
- As you observe a seemingly fruitless prayer life, you become aware of the work God is doing in your life.
Most of us are familiar with Ecclesiastes 3:1, which states “For every season, there is an appointed time. And there is a time for every matter under heaven.”
We may even be familiar with how that passage gives us direct guidance on the timing of transitions in verses 2-8:
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
If we read further to Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NASB), we read, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”
Each time we think we’re done, we must remember that God has purpose for our lives. He has purpose for each of those endings…and each of the subsequent beginnings.
Just as the fallen leaf continues to have purpose, keep in mind your Christian walk has purpose in all of your transitions.