This has always been my most favorite time of the year...by far. There's something about the angle of the sun at this time of year as it shines through the golden leaves, the brisk mornings which make my cup of coffee taste that much better, the cool nights that bring with them a coziness as I sink into the couch under my favorite blanket. And then there is the landscapes. The brilliant reds, oranges, yellows that fill the stands of trees against the vibrant blue or graying autumn skies.
It's amazing that the time of year when everything is beginning to die and decay is also one of the most beautiful. But why?
Of course there is an in depth answer to this question which involves the breakdown of chlorophyll and other leaf pigmentation. But I often find myself thinking about an answer to that question that cannot be found in a science book.
Why did God decide to clothe the trees in these glorious colors year after year as a result of a scientific process? Could He not have accomplished the same goal in a much less beautiful, less grandiose way? Of course He could have. Why did He choose to create over 20,000 different species of trees and 375,000 types of plants to cover the earth? Could He not have created a vegetation that was all of the same color lacking any fragrance, any texture, any interest whatsoever? Of course He could have.
But He didn't.
He created a world full of incredibly beautiful and complex living organisms. He filled Lily of the Valley, Roses, Jasmine and so many other blooms with heavenly scents that are unmatched by any man-made fragrance. He created daffodils so intricate, so perfect that grow from a seemingly simple bulb planted in the ground. He gave each plant its own bloomtime, resulting in landscapes that are ever-changing but always gorgeous. He caused the forest floor to be covered with patches of brilliant greens which somehow manage to grow even under extremely low light conditions. He spoke all of these plants and trees into being and then filled the earth with astounding pollinators, such as butterflies, honey bees and hummingbirds.
The answer is actually quite simple: because He loves us and He wants us to glorify Him.
And even though we deserve none of it, He wants us to be happy. God could have created a world that was 100% functional with no beauty at all, but He chose not to out of love for you and me. Even though we are worthless sinners, having earned nothing but eternal damnation, the Lord saw fit to give us a world that sparks wonder, amazement and ultimately, points us back to Him.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;the skies proclaim the work of his hands.2 Day after day they pour forth speech;night after night they reveal knowledge.3 They have no speech, they use no words;no sound is heard from them.4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,their words to the ends of the world.In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,like a champion rejoicing to run his course.6 It rises at one end of the heavensand makes its circuit to the other;nothing is deprived of its warmth. Psalm 19:1-6
The next time you take a walk, drive your car or look out a window, linger just a moment longer. Take in the sight and remind yourself that it is not there as an accident or coincidence. God created that scene just for you.
And then smile and thank Him :)