I grew up with that tree and watched it as seasons came and went. Year after year it would follow an inexplicable pattern - in the spring it would burst forth with such life as would carry it into the duration of the summer. And it would live and shout the wonders of creation.
In its most basic nature, it was completely incapable of claiming this miracle to its own power, and yet it towered with incomprehensible pristine beauty. Then autumn would come, and what seemed perfect and fulfilled in its youth paled before what time and nature brought with age.
What sprouted with vigorous new life in excited radiant green gave way to more contrasting yellows, reds, and oranges. They adorned the trees and complemented their surroundings; and such beauty, as is its nature, could not be contained by the confines of the tree.
They would leave their home and shower the ground with color, and spread to all around, as good things must always do. And the tree would let them go, as is its nature, and stood watching its blessings abound around it. In quiet dignity it stood bare as winter approached. There it stood watching as mysteriously time took with it its beauty, leaving a subtler, reverent image.
As it passed through this final season, I would watch in anticipation for this to start over again. And I thought, "Why can I not have that nature, to reflect what God is, and to show beauty through His power, not my own. And to accept what age and experience brings with it, and to ultimately accept what end it brings.
For how can anything so blatantly of God have anything but the beauty and sublime dignity which God gives. Why can't I be that resolved to let His will be, and for me to watch as God's gifts flow through me to all around." And then I thought,