Yesterday my daughter and I went for a walk. It was a beautiful afternoon. The weather was perfect—bright and sunny, with just enough warmth to make it pleasant but not enough heat to produce a sweat. A gentle breeze stirred newly fallen leaves across the sidewalk, covering nearby lawns in a blanket of red, orange and gold.
Our walk was slow. My daughter stopped periodically to pluck various leaves from the trees. We admired their beauty together. One in particular caught her attention. It was a peachy-orange with vibrant green along its veins, caught between life and death. As she twirled the leaf between her fingers, I thought about how often my own life mimics that leaf. I’ve been called to die to myself, to forsake those things that hinder my walk with Christ. But often I cling to my carnal life–to pride and selfish ambition—like that tiny leaf with blurred colors. And yet, to die, to truly surrender oneself into the loving arms of our Father, is where true beauty is found. Life, full, vibrant life, is found in death.
As my schedule increases, I have been forced to evaluate everything in light of the cross. And in the process, I’ve had to make a few difficult choices–I’ve had to die to self. Like that leaf my daughter twirled in her fingers, I find myself clinging between life and death, looking for that win-win compromise. But God has called me to complete surrender, not convenient surrender. At times, that means giving up some things I enjoy, to make time for the better, just like those leaves falling to the ground. And yet, like the song below says, if my Savior’s all He claims to be, I’m not losing anything.
You Can Have Me by Sidewalk Prophets
John 12:24 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remans only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (NIV)