By Becky YoungGolden leaves. Sweater weather. Football season. Pumpkin spice. Chili and cornbread. Mmmmm! Fall, my favorite season. Oh, yours too?It’s no wonder that seven of the ten busiest days in Rocky Mountain National Park are in September or that Starbucks has an entire menu created around fall flavors. Fall has most of us hypnotized with its beautiful hillsides, cool weather and fun activities (pumpkin patch, anyone?). Every fall, my husband and I lace up our hiking boots, hop in the car and venture into the mountains for a fall hike or nature walk. I love watching the yellow aspen leaves quake in the wind as they wave farewell to summer, hearing the crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet and feeling the warmth of my pockets as I take a deep breath of the cool, crisp air. Fall is glorious because God is glorious. God uses nature to reflect himself, and he invites us to take notice. One way we can do this is by spending time outside, intentionally observing subtle details that we might otherwise overlook. The sights and sounds around us this fall are all opportunities to connect with our Creator.Whether you find yourself on a leaf-covered trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, taking a walk along the Poudre River, or simply sitting on a park bench in your neighborhood, going outside with God this fall season is a wonderful way to reflect more deeply on God and his work in your life. Take a Fall Walk With GodAs you walk, hike, ride, or sit outside, here are a few things to seek out, pay attention to and reflect on:Cool air - Feel the crisp air on your face and thank God for the refreshment he provides in your life. Thank him for the ways he replenishes your energy and gives you strength.Green leaves - If you notice a leaf that is still green, ask God if there is anything in your life that would benefit from a change. Are you holding too tightly to something or resisting change in any area of your life?Yellow leaves - As you admire the yellow leaves, notice the beauty of change God has used in your life. What aspects of your life are currently changing? Thank God for the gift of change, even when it’s hard.Falling leaves - Look up and watch as a leaf gently lets go and drifts to the ground. As the leaves unhinge themselves from trees, we too are invited to release. Ask God what he wants you to surrender to him this fall. Is he asking you to let go of something?Fallen leaves - When you come upon a bed of fallen leaves under a tree, notice the beauty of their quiet resting place. As the leaves lie peacefully on the solid ground, so do you rest in the security of Christ. Praise God for the safety he provides.
Crunching leaves - Listen to the sound of dried leaves crunching beneath your step as you walk. What does the sound stir in you? Perhaps you notice a desire to finalize something or to step out into something new. Talk with God about whatever comes to mind.Dancing leaves - Look up and watch as the colorful leaves dance in the wind. As they do, take time to worship and glorify God. Last leaf - If you see a tree that is mostly bare save but a few hardy leaves, think about the ways you have persevered and endured this year. What difficulties has God helped you persevere through? Thank him for giving you the strength to hold on, even when it’s hard.Bare trees - Do you notice any trees that are completely bare? Just as they prepare for the winter ahead, God is preparing you for things ahead, both easy and hard. Talk with God about the plans he has for you and ask him to help you prepare for new seasons ahead.Colors - How many different colors do you see? A single leaf can be green, yellow, orange, red and brown all at the same time! Think about how the different colors you see represent the many different aspects of God’s character. Thank him for being multidimensional, creative and dynamic.
Becky Young is a photographer, spiritual director and writer. She has been a member of Faith Church for 3 years and serves with Faith’s Photography Team, Care Ministry and Writing Team.Becky enjoys writing about soul care and cultivating a deeper life with God. Becky was born and raised in Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, gardening and exploring God’s creation.