The curvy back roads of Western Kentucky make for a great view of fall. Crisp leaves on tall trees begin to curl and color and fall, leaving leaf crumbs under tires and leather boots.
On a particular Sunday afternoon drive, my eyes were drawn to a cluster of trees whose leaves bore only a smear of color, ready to burst into the vibrancy of November days. It was as if they were waiting in anticipation for a fall breeze to come in and sweep them into those full, blooming, crimson and golden shades.
Then I captured a thought, what do they do in the mean time?
Yes, even leaves have to wait for their “season,” the time everyone “ooohhs” and “aaahhs” over their unmistakable beauty. However, no one ever stops to notice the innate loveliness the leaves hold beforehand. We never appreciate the time of waiting that is so vital to fostering splendor.
Throughout life, we will always be in a time of waiting. We won’t understand why life is taking so long or why we can’t be in those “November days” we’ve so dreamed of. In fact, in this very moment, I am waiting. I’m waiting to catch up on sleep, waiting to get to the next test, waiting to finish the semester, waiting for Christmas, waiting to study abroad, waiting for Prince Charming to show up and sweep me off my feet, waiting to graduate, and waiting to figure out the rest of my life. But all of those thoughts completely ignore the now. Right now I am peaceful, right now my 19 page paper is done, right now I’m doing undergraduate research, right now I have awesome friends, right now I’m going to school on a scholarship, right now I’m doing ministry that I love, right now life is good.
Oftentimes, the promise of change causes us to ignore what has already happened. We can’t forget how God has already blessed us, because it is this very contentment that propels us into the next stage of life.
Other times, we don’t allow ourselves to even consider change because it’s too uncomfortable and too uncertain. Reaching this “verge” of new things to come seems an impossibility because we would rather sit in same than embrace change. But sitting in “same” blocks the flow of beauty. It clogs creativity and passion in its path and ruins the hope of our Savior doing something amazing.
We have not because we ask not.
We say we want change but we never get past the hump because honestly, we don’t want to move. We’re safe and comfortable right where we are.
This is not the Christian life! Christ never called us to waste times of waiting and He never called us to stay where we are. He has called us to a life of vibrancy and variation. We should always be on the verge of change. There are always things God will ask us to alter or give up or add based on where we are or who we are ministering to—there’s no time to get comfortable when you are on mission. This is not your home. That is why we must constantly be connected to the will and the heart of our Savior and Lord. Without His direction, our lives are hopelessly lost.
We will only get to the promise if we hurdle the verge, trusting that God’s Sovereignty is greater than our ability to control. It requires willingness to move and it requires patience. Of course, these are not easy thresholds to clear, but daily discipline brings us closer to our First Love.
What happens when we embrace these changes God wants for us?
Lost are saved. Revivals break out. Hearts are healed. Minds are renewed. Peace takes over.
It’s only when we surrender our idea of “good enough” and grasp the ways God is asking us to change that we will understand the gravity of His purpose for our lives.
The sanctified attitudes and actions this surrender fabricates represent a matured leaf arrayed with a warm and intricate design. Each matured leaf of change flaps flamboyantly in the wind, reflecting the beauty and growth of the Creator and Sustainer. Each moment of change points back to our Savior and reminds us that we were never strong enough to save ourselves.
Although they will only last for a blink of an eye, our surrendered leaves will serve their purpose by glorifying the Name above all names, the Only One who is worthy to be praised. But first we must embrace the verge of change.