Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)
TITLE: Autumn Leaves
By Edmond Ng
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Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn, but the righteous will prosper like the leaves of summer. (Proverbs 11:28 GNT)Many people think tree leaves fall and die during the fall season because of weather changes, but studies have shown the real reason for leaves falling is drought. This is because the primary function of leaves is photosynthesis, and photosynthesis requires the use of water, carbon dioxide and light to create food in the leaves to generate organic compounds and oxygen. In order to induce a suction force, however, the leaves will need to constantly sweat, and in winter season shed them so as not to get dried. As daylight gets shorter during fall, however, the leaves will gradually suffer thirst because of the reducing absorption of water with the shrinking daylight. This means even when trees live in wet climate with abundant snowfall and rainfall or even when in the warmest of falls, the trees will still lose their leaves, triggered by the shorten length of daylight.
Many changes occur in the leaves before they finally fall from the branch. According to Joe Lamp’L of DIY Network who wrote an article on ‘Why do leaves fall in autumn?’ at ScrippsNews.com, changing colors of leaves during fall is part of an important and complicated process which ends in the leaves being shed at the end of each growing season. The trees, in protecting themselves, purge diseased, damaged or dead leaves, while they seal the point where the petiole connects to it. As the climate and light conditions of autumn evolve, tree hormones change as well, the most notable of which is auxin, a hormone in trees that promotes root formation and bud growth. The balance of auxin levels between leaves and branches is the key to determining if and when the leaves drop.
Much like the processes that end in the fall of tree leaves during the autumn season, Christian living also draws a parallel equivalence in the way we live our lives. Like the leaves of autumn, we often fall under the dry spell of keeping ourselves connected to God, resulting in spiritual drought because of over reliance and dependency on our own ability and wealth (Proverbs 11:28). Spiritual drought can happen when we are too caught up with the entanglements of this world and if we are not careful, we may, like the ‘photosynthesis,’ gradually fail to absorb the necessary energy from the light of the sun to produce food from water and carbon dioxide. When that happens, we will eventually lose our ‘leaves’ of a close relationship with God, triggered by the shorten length of ‘daylight’ absorption from the Light of the world (John 8:12), the Son of the living God.
Many changes can occur in our lives if we spend too much time in the entanglements of this world which can lead us to finally fall from the ‘branch’ that connects us to God. Jesus, in teaching us about the need for us to live in Him said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me” (John 15:5 GNT). Like the trees that protect themselves and purge diseased, damaged or dead leaves to seal off the point where the leaves connect, we as the leaves and the branches must also be wise not to be caught walking away from the narrow way or be unprepared to receive the Lord when He returns as the bridegroom (Luke 13:24-28; Matthew 25). We must therefore balance our ‘auxin’ levels to ensure a deeply rooted formation to the Vine in ensuring bud growth.
Dear Lord, help us always to remember that like the leaves of the fall season, we cannot survive without living in You and staying connected to You, because You O God are the Light of the world that shines to give us life and sustenance. Keep us Lord from the entanglements of this world and from self-reliance and dependency on our own wealth. Keep us deeply rooted in You, Lord, that we may always be prepared for Your coming and not walk away from the narrow way, for You alone Lord is our strength and source of sustenance.
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