Contributed by Pastor Sandra R. Berryman

I love the autumn. Trees are changing here in the Midwest. Leaves scattering, dried and yet colorful. “It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon,” wrote Sarah Addison Allen.  Autumn holds much symbolism. “Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground.” ― Andrea Gibson

As much as I love the beauty and change, there are people who do not like autumn. “A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives–all bear secret relations to our destinies,” wrote  François-René.

Because to them life is colder and death is around them. They have lost their hope.  They sometimes regret choices that they made and know they cannot undo those mistakes.  They turn their collars inwardly like a dried leaf coiled within itself. Shivering as the wind blows, breaking off more and more of them as they are scurried along life’s path. Hopelessness is their meal that they partake of every day.  Hopelessness is in their lowly lit lamp. Rusted like the leaves, angered and poisonous to others like the orange/red bittersweet plants. They have no peace; something is just not right. There’s a feeling of uneasiness. We all need to know that sometimes distraction can deafen our ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit. In this case, the absence of peace is a loud and clear sign.

God’s beckoning always requires a response and almost always requires a change in our life. This is why we try to ignore Him, because change is the last thing we want to do. One thing for sure, the reward of obedience is far better than staying where you’re at.

Autumn is a good time to focus on your commitment to God. Some of the saddest words in the Bible are in Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” If you’ve never made a commitment to Jesus Christ, do it now, while there is still time.

Fall has arrived. Behold the changing leaves, and enjoy the crisp breeze. Transformation is afoot and hope is in the air. “And I rose in rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.” — Dylan Thomas

There is hope in autumn. “And that afternoon, as the sun slanted low through the changing autumn leaves, I remembered to savor the moment, soak in the beauty, breathe deeply and feel the immensity of God.” ― Cindee Snider. So it is your choice. “In the churchyard, flames, the Burning Bush, a maple touched to fire, by autumn fanned. Were I possessed as Moses was, the hush might speak, Jehovah’s voice resound. I stand uncertain, questions wrinkling my face: Should I kneel, is this some holy ground? Or is it just the usual for this place that maples turn, a season come around? And as I ponder, November rain gathers wind from lowering eastern skies to strip the maple of its leaves. The stain of scarlet filters down before my eyes. I wait too long; I watch the moment pass till only ashes stir upon the grass.”  ― Bettie M. Sellers