Seeking the True Light, as the Light of Summer Fades
As the days grow shorter, the air slowly chills, leaves began their grand metamorphosis from shiny shades of green to the spectacular shades of autumn, I begin to anticipate all that this turn of the calendar holds. Yet, being a summer girl at heart, it is bittersweet as I see my flowers fade and I bid adieu to the warmth that permeates the sweetness of summertime. I grew up in an area that was always warm. Winter simply meant it might get a little chilly. I wore dresses and skirts all year long and was always surrounded by lush green trees and bright flowers. Twenty years ago, we moved to the land of seasons. I never knew the rainbow of fall, gently falling snowflakes or the excitement of spring bulbs…first crocus, then daffodils, followed by tulips. At first this refashioning of my environment left me sullen and tearful. I actually would walk through my yard the day of the first frost a I looked upon my one beautiful, but now a seaweed garden (yes, I think all vegetation looks like wet seaweed after it is nipped by ole Jack Frost) and literally mourn this passing of a time I had always taken for granted. Tears would trickle down my cheeks as I feared the many cold days to follow. One year, I decided that I needed to try and put a stop to the fall doldrums. How could I make the first frost something to look forward to instead of dread? Well, embrace the fall, of course.
“While we’ve been on the subject of seasons, you might have wondered about the word ‘autumn’ compared to ‘fall.’ In the British Isles, the term ‘autumn’ has been used since the 1300s, and the phrase ‘the fall of the leaf” or just ‘the fall’ was used from the 1500s until about 1800. After that time, ‘autumn’ became the common seasonal term in Britain. According to The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, ‘whereas ‘the fall of the leaf’ (less frequently ‘the fall of the year’) and then ‘fall’ by itself gradually became standard in America from the late 17th century onwards’ (5). However, one exception for American usage of ‘autumn,’ instead of ‘fall,’ is with the autumnal equinox.” – See more here.
Okay, back to embracing the turn off the seasons. I decided to start a tradition I would look forward to on the first frosty morning we received in September. Being newly weds, we didn’t have much money. I had always loved Yankee Candles, but often just bought cheap knock offs, as they didn’t quite fit in the budget. BUT…the first frost meant a Yankee Candle. I loved these candles so much, that looking forward to this special treat, somehow began a change in my heart. Embracing change…making a choice to turn the dreaded first frost into a day I anticipated. Choosing the perfect scent to set the stage for the colors of autumn, pumpkins on the front porch, a fall wreath hung on the door and the deliciousness of my favorite Pumpkin Bread recipe (I now make it Gluten Free and will have to share this tradition I began in college). You see, as the flickering of the flame, my favorite aroma, usually Spiced Pumpkin or Apple Cider and the slight warmth began to fill the house, my soul too, was surrounded by a much needed light…
I ponder the change a small flickering light can have. How the anticipation of that tiny flame gives me hope. Then I think of the True Light that is my eternal hope. There must be a very specific reason why God uses the analogy of Jesus as the “Light of the world.” When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:11-13 There are 263 references to “light” in the Bible. Here are a few of my favorites. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:104-106 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-8 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:13- 15 “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-6 “Then your light will shine like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your God will walk before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind…You will cry out, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’” Isaiah 58:8-9 (My pastoring brother in law shared this one today…coincidenc? No, a “Godcidence!”) The candle stood as a reminder that there was a Light I needed, more than anything, to shine upon me. Instead of seeing the darkness of the frost, I needed to seek Him, as the Light of the world, no matter what my circumstances. I needed more of Him to fill my soul with the everlasting Light that had always, and would continue to shine upon my path so that there was never a reason to walk in darkness. And more than that, I need to honor the will of my Heavenly Father as a reflection of His light…His love. Thank you Jesus, our everlasting Light
~Seeking to Always Walk in His Light and to be His Light to Others