I spent a lovely afternoon recently kids-free (gasp) hand-in-hand with my man, crunching along this beautiful gravel path in a nearby state park.
It was the kind of late summer day that would be considered sinful to stay indoors. The piercing sunlight so crisp and warm filtering down through the chartreuse canopy as we ambled along the winding path.
When out of the blue (or should I say green) canopy of leaves above, a single glittering golden sassafras leaf flutters down just in front of me. Catching and reflecting the warm light as it slowly floats downward, swaying back and forth and back and forth.
I promise you time slowed down for that one beauteous little leaf to make contact with the sacred ground it landed upon. And I was there to witness it.
So much so that I snapped this exact photo of this exact leaf.
Yes. God has a subtle way of speaking to us sometimes. In that moment, He was speaking right to me.
That leaf. It was everything I felt. Have been feeling for so long now. Change is coming.
There will still be several warm and green days, but the change is BEGINNING.
I stood there for what was probably way too much time trying to get a good pic of this little leaf.
And because I married an infinitely patient and creative type of man. He got it. He knows when something speaks to me and he only smirked in his sarcastic way a little bit when I finally came out of it and looked up unknowingly to catch his eyes that were on me.
We moved on with our walk and our day, but that little leaf stuck with me.
The problem is that when time feels uncomfortable to me, when the days tick on, sun rises, sun sets with nothing changing, this is actually the sacred space when God teaches me.
I can feel him nudging me to lean on him, to seek him out when the quiet of life is too loud to go unnoticed.
The clinking of dishes in the sink, the creak of a porch swing or the coo of a morning dove outside my window on a summer morning. All sounds of a slower pace of life.
All the things I love, EXCEPT NOT when there is change looming in front of me with no real plan in sight. Like the calm before the storm.
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
The Greek word for perfect in that scripture is telios which has a few meanings. In a sacrificial animal, it meant it was fit to be offered to God.
For a scholar to possess it meant they were mature.
For a man, it meant he was of full-age.
The thing is that we don't just become patient by trying to be patient.
I wish it were so, but alas, God has chosen to develop that patience in us through trials.
It's his way.
Peter referred to the trials as being more precious than gold. Most of the time, I manage to avoid them whenever possible. That, or complain about them.
Lord, use this waiting period to draw me closer to you, make me COMPLETE.
Refine me, make me mature.
May I change the way I view this waiting period and the inevitable change coming.
May I see it as more precious than a perfect golden leaf come as a messenger to me.