Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Glorious Day and All It Entails

Each year in mid-October, there’s a completely clear day where the setting sun outside my ninth floor window lights up the trees just to the north of our building, making all the glory of their fall colors come alive. While I’ve tried to take pictures of it, the photos never do it justice.

This year, for whatever reason, the clear, glorious day didn’t arrive. Two things got in the way.

First, many trees in our immediate area were bulldozed to make way for a retail development. Watching this large stand of trees, which had been home to deer and other wildlife, destroyed over the course of a few days was incredibly disheartening. Driving to work the morning after the first day of bulldozing, I saw a deer standing amid a pile of torn down trees eating leaves in what used to be its habitat. It was enough to nearly push me over the edge.

Secondly, for whatever reason, the remaining trees didn’t achieve the same incredible color scheme this year as in the past. The leaves looked more brown than they did yellow, orange, or red.

So what happened instead?

On a mid-October day this year, there was intermittent rain. Far from being clear, the sky was grey, with ominous clouds rolling through the area all day long.

Then in late afternoon, a rainbow appeared, and the clouds, now very low in the sky, started to give way in various parts of town. As they did, different parts of the city began to light up, revealing beautiful colors in groups of trees throughout the Kansas City area.

In a unique way, the day of glorious color this year became much more intriguing, not knowing which trees would next receive their flash of illumination, only to randomly surrender it to other trees miles away. What has been a beautiful scene became an interactive display of color and light this year. It was the most glorious October day yet.

Think about it.

We are finishing a calendar year many view as having stripped away tremendously important things to them (i.e., money, wealth, status), leaving a dismal landscape, with dim and daunting uncertainty about the year ahead. Sounds a lot like the view from outside my window, doesn’t it?

What’s the lesson? The glorious day I was anticipating and looking forward to didn’t happen. Instead, challenges and hindrances spoiled what was expected, yet worked to create something even more glorious.

I’m as big an advocate of living a challenge-free life as anyone. But what I take away is the reminder that challenges, trials, and difficulties are all part of the impetus for creating great things we perhaps couldn’t imagine without them. For all of us, let’s pray that we can take the challenges 2008 presented and those that 2009 holds and make it a truly wondrous year unlike any we’ve experienced before.

Merry Christmas, and blessings for the New Year!

Mike

1 comment:

Jan said...

This post is a gift. God bless you and your family, and here's to a New Year filled with health, happiness, and more of your glorious perspectives.
Jan