I tried to capture a photo of leaves falling yesterday afternoon while hiking the Horace Kephart trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. Phil pointed out to me that leaves were floating down all around us. I was so focused on the color of the leaves on the trees and on the ground, I hadn’t noticed those falling. It was delightful to watch the floating descent of the leaves, but my little camera wasn’t up to the challenge of recording their fall.
Fall is a great time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. The color yesterday defies description; I even took a photograph that I plan to call “God’s Color Study”, even though the picture doesn’t do justice to the vibrancy of the actual color. The sky was intense blue; the leaves were an array of red, orange, yellow, brown, and leftover green. It was truly a feast for the eyes.
Yet, under the carpet of fallen leaves, there were rocks and small ditches carved by the recent rain storms. These were hidden by the leaves, but a concern while hiking. I was so distracted by the autumn display that I slipped and stumbled several times before I realized I needed to pay attention to where I was going.
Isn’t that true of life? I am the queen of distraction. This is a big concern as a parent and now as a grandparent. I am easily distracted – and often by good things. Natural beauty has always fascinated me, and as an artist that serves me well. Yet, our children will tell you of the many times I missed a turn on our way home, because of a beautiful tree, a lovely bird, or a particularly blue hydrangea. For the sake of the safety of our children and now grandchildren, I must focus on where I am going.
As a Christian, I need to PAY attention to my walk with God, and NOT get distracted by things, even good things that could cause me to fall. Some of the things that can distract me and cause me to “fall” as a mother are:
- Being more concerned about how my children LOOK than how they feel
- Caring more about what my friends think than what my Heavenly Father wants
- Putting my children to bed without devotions/prayer because a TV show is starting
- Attending to needs of others before the needs of my family
- Allowing “devices” to control my time
- Putting weeding the flower beds before cooking meals (anyone else have this issue?)
Thankfully, Our Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses and His desire is to keep us from falling.
Jude 1:24-28 (KJV)
24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.