I hope you are one of the lucky people who has traveled far enough north in the month of October to see the astonishing display of fall foliage. Although more than twenty years have passed since my last autumn trip to the mountains of North Carolina, I remember it like it was yesterday – reds, yellows and oranges so intense you could hardly believe your eyes. Contrasted against the blues of sky and water and the greens of the evergreen trees, it looked very much like God had bumped his crayon box and all that breathtaking beauty was the direct result of the spill. A very common response to these amazing views is to wonder, “How is this even possible?” Which brings us to a science lesson.
I was truly amazed when I first learned that the brilliant red, yellow, orange and purple colors of the fall leaves are already present in the leaf! They are simply overpowered during the warmer months by the green pigment of chlorophyll, which is the food-producing miracle inside each leaf’s cells. Chlorophyll is responsible for taking the sun’s rays, working some magic with water and carbon dioxide, and producing the simple sugar the plant needs for growth and development. When cooler weather arrives, this signals to the leaf to take in less fuel and over time the chlorophyll production reduces to the point that green fades and “Viola!” The COLORS!!
I have greatly simplified a very remarkable process, but the important idea I’d like to return to is this: the beautiful colors are already present, just overpowered for a time. Taking this concept into the human realm, I’d love for each of us to bravely claim this truth: the beauty, the gifts, the graces, the willingness to change for the better, the courage to become who God created us to be – all these are already present within us. Trust the God who lovingly created you to journey with you as you adventure forward to discover your true colors.
True Colors Revealed
We do not change
by trying to be what we are not,
but by being fully what we are.
Carter G Valler
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.
Create the kind of self
that you will be happy to live with all your life.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
A part of us has to die to transform,
and a part of us dies if we do not.
Which part will prevail?
When we release expectation
and experience appreciation,
all the moments of our lives
become openings and opportunities.
Be humble for you are made of earth.
Be noble for you are made of stars.
May the expectation in other eyes
never decide how you are to be.
Learn to trust the advice
of your own heart.
Stay true to your deepest intuition
that an extraordinary
and miraculous life is possible.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom, O Lord.
Whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.