Autumn is definitely my favorite season, though where I live can only afford a very short autumn at best. This year, however, it seems to be holding out a bit longer than usual, which is wonderful! Thursday, I spent the afternoon with a sweet, wonderful friend of mine, whom I completely adore. She has a tradition of baking apples and making gingerbread within the first few days of this cooler season. Though we did not make it to the gingerbread, the baked apples that filled our afternoon were heavenly! It had been forever since I'd baked apples. In fact, the last time I remember baked apples in my past, I was a little girl too young to do any of the baking and they were put in and pulled out of the oven by my sweet Nama. I'd forgotten just how much I LOVE baked apples! Oh my, the smell and taste of such a treat, warm out of the oven...yum!
As I look out the window, the ground is covered in bright yellow and orange leaves, yet to lose their color. They seem to be holding on as long as they can, shouting for the world to notice this last attempt before they fade away. I admire so much what they have to teach, what they show through their short lives. At the very end, it is then that they shine and burn the brightest. I want that to be said of my life, that it was a continual flame for His glory, ever burning brighter and brighter as the years passed. When I come to the very end, I desire that others look back on my life and see that it was at the very end that I shone and burnt for Him greater than ever before.
It's funny how we don't like to ponder the end. We don't like to think of time slipping through our fingers and suddenly waking to find that time is gone. It's odd to me, this fear we have of time taking wing and flying out of our grasp. Why fear it? The only thing that is consistent in this life, besides the love of our precious Jesus, is that time is forever moving, forever changing. We cannot make it go any slower or faster, we all get to the end at only 60 minute intervals, no matter what we do. So, why dread what can't be changed? Why fear getting old? I know I'm very young and maybe I have no right to comment on such a thing as growing old, but it seems to me this culture of ours has a warped sense of what youth and beauty is. Yes, I'm still young enough to not have earned any wrinkles on my face, however, when I begin to grow old, I hope I will have earned many wrinkles. Wrinkles that were earned through laughter and tears both, for never can I expect to have the one without the other. I do not desire to age in such a way that "age" is not shown, for in the end no matter how we inject and slice our face, age does settle there. Why fight and scream at it? Instead, I want to learn now to love every age and stage of my life, so that when old age does come upon me, I can embrace it and love every moment of it.
My Nama is such a woman. At 80 years old, she is more beautiful to me today than all the pictures of her with her youthful beauty. She has lived a life full of love, laughter, tears, and joy. Every wrinkle on her face seems to radiate what true beauty is and how a woman may look when she has been totally in love with her Savior for more years than I've been alive. She truly is burning brighter with the glory of Jesus at this season in her life, then at any other time. I am a blessed woman because of her, for she is teaching me how to not fight time, but to find joy in flying along with it. I am learning that, just like the leaves I'm witnessing this fall, a person can gracefully and mightily become more in the autumn of their life than they ever were before. If being like her is what I can look forward to when I'm her age, than I have absolutely nothing to fear and it seems to me, I can look forward to all that's ahead. So, I'll follow the example that she has set, holding time's hand with one hand, and grasping my Savior's in the other. And perhaps together, we can go dancing to the end of my life...