We live in such a fabulous world in such a fascinating time in history. You might not come to that conclusion from watching the news or reading the newspapers, but nonetheless, it’s still true. During the fall season, Bill and I enjoy sailing the St. Lawrence River through Canada and New England, visiting interesting ports along the way. But I must tell you, the port cities always pale in comparison to the landscape God paints with the hardwoods beginning to say good-bye to their leaves for a season. The angles of the sunlight in autumn showcase those brilliant golds and reds of the maple trees in ways that no camera can capture.
We sail for miles without seeing skylines or other of man’s disturbances of the countryside. Then a riverside village, which usually centered around a white steeple, appears on the landscape. The outlying small farms with stone fences and red barns beckon me to a simpler place and time. When I point out one of those scenes to Bill and introduce the idea that I might like to live there, he gently suggests that perhaps we should return in January before making such a decision. I thought it a bit insensitive of him to douse my romantic notions with such reality, but he was right. The grass is not always greener in the winter.
So we return home to our forty-five minute autumn in South Texas. The hummingbirds left while I was away, but there are cardinals and chickadees and goldfinches to entertain me. I find entertainment in such simple things, and my daily experiences are still filled with wonderment no matter where I am.
Why I opened a carton of sour cream Saturday and was just stunned by what I saw on the foil seal. And to think I almost peeled it away and threw it in the garbage without reading the words “Jumping for joy is good exercise.” That’s wonderment in this day and age to find something so positive on a carton of anything.
Think about it. We live in a place where we can go to a store and choose from many brands of sour cream. And no one eats sour cream by itself, so there must be ingredients for a casserole or a baked potato on our grocery list. Then we push the cart, even with its wayward wheels, to the front of the store, unload it, and we have money to pay for all our choices. We’re so rich. And then, we come home and open a carton of sour cream to find someone from the Daisy Company’s marketing group thought to remind us that jumping for joy is good exercise. That’s amazing!
The colors of autumn are short-lived. Cartons of sour cream get emptied. The hummingbirds leave for the winter, but there’s always something in God’s world to make us jump for joy. The Psalmist said that the trees of the forest will sing for joy, and I promise you that in some places in God’s world this morning, they’re singing loudly accompanied by an unbelievable symphony of light and color. Perhaps if you’re not in one of those metaphorical places or perhaps if your knees and hips won’t allow you to jump for joy this morning, you could just join the trees in singing to the One who made us and blesses us richly every day.