The Song of Change

There! In the wind, do you see it? It’s something most people miss.

Think of the trees, alright? Did you know that they sing? It’s not in the song of man, for they were given no lips to make their music known. It’s not a usual kind of song, but one that requires some attention to spot.

Trust me. I’ve seen it, and you probably have as well.

If you know me, then you probably know that I’m rather fond of trees. I can often be found sitting in one, or trying to climb as high as my careful nature will allow. There’s a certain kind of greatness that comes with trees. Their colors are beautiful and their leaves are in amazing variety. Trees also bring out a certain kind of craftsmanship and detail, both in the hands of the worker and the creator Himself. There’s just something magical about having the chance to climb up into the branches of a comforting sanctuary to look down upon the once familiar world. A chance to be ‘unbothered’, if you will, by its hustle and bustle. Now, a tree’s song reflects all of these wonderful things, but is not focused on it.

Let us go back to the tree’s leaves, because that is the most important component to this ‘song’. To focus, let’s take a walk. You and me. Writer and reader. Grab your hiking boots and your favorite hat, because it’s mid-Fall and a bit chilly out. The ground underneath our feet is brown and dry, but the leaves above us are of wonderful reds and browns.
There’s a stump over here, so watch your step.
The sound of the birds overhead, but there! The wind blows and all the sudden the air is full of the colorful song that the trees can finally express. The breeze blows and catches the reds and yellows off of the trees’ very own branches, dispersing them gently as they float down to the ground like a sweet melody. Like notes strung across a line of profound verse. The trees are letting go of their leaves, watching what once made them who they were fall to the ground.

These leaves were once important to the tree. I’ll spare you the science, but just know that without the leaves, the tree would not live. These leaves were essential to the tree’s being. Now they are being forgotten. It’s a sad song, in this way. However, with the coming of winter and the shorter days, the trees must abandon their beautiful colors to preserve the energy they have spent all year storing to survive in the cold.

The times changed, and the trees must do so as well.

Think about how much the leaves could tell you as they float to the ground. They’ve seen rain, warmth, and some may have even been let go before hand. But now they float gently to the ground in one last sad song. Change. It hurts. But at the same time, it is beautiful. The tree would not survive if it held onto its leaves. The cold would consume it. It lets go of what is no longer needed to be what it was made to be. What was once good is now dead, and the trees know that they cannot keep what is no longer useful.

I now have a different perspective when I sit in a tree. I look at the leaves and know that life is beautiful, but full of change. The trees remind me of the constant highs and lows. The good times and the bad. The colorful brightness, and the skeletal bareness that comes upon us all. However, I believe it is important to remember that as the leaves come and go, the trees remain. A firm foundation that stands firm in the storms and cold winters. Trees last through the winter, but leaves don’t (I know that there are technically exceptions, but stay with me here). I think we, as people and not trees, holding onto our leaves. We are scared to lose what we once loved, but we forget about the life’s core being that we will never been forsaken of.

Here’s the point. The new year is coming. It’s right around the corner and the days will soon grow cold with change, whether we are ready for it or not. Do you have a song to sing as well? Do you have leaves that have long been dead and useless. These things will only drag you down in times of testing and struggle. What kind of things do you need to abandon so that your foundation stays healthy and strong? Because as you let go of the old and dead, it makes way for the brilliant colors of a new life. Don’t wait for the new year. Let go of them now and embrace the change that may been the key to making your cold and drained life anew.

And climb a tree. You’ll thank me later.

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

 

 

 

 

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The Task of Understanding

Job 28:28 says: “And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

This is a verse I’ve been meditating on for some time now. We live in a world where people live their lives without wisdom or understanding, and they’re okay with it. Perhaps its always been this way. I don’t know. Sin makes things hard, and people look in all the wrong places for the answers they need.

I am a person. To clarify further, I am a quiet person. I grew up in a large family of loud people. This isn’t a bad thing, but in an environment like that (as well as a God given personality that deemed it so), it forced me to become a good listener instead. It made me a thinker, but most importantly, it made me a ponderer. I would sit back and try and comprehend, which I later learned was something people do only on rare occasion. I would ask the questions that no one would want to ask, and thus, no one would answer them for me. These questions were important, and better than what was usually asked, but they were still off. These questions lacked understanding in of themselves. That’s where the name, Silver Questions, comes from. We can ask very valuable questions, but they always seem to fall short of the real issue. Precious, but not quite to the highest grade. The answers, however, can be something paradoxical, wondrous, and golden.

Chapter 28 of Job is full of asking questions. Now, listen, because I already gave  you the golden and precious answer that Job found. Here are some of the earlier verses for context:

“But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.'” (Job 28:12-14, ESV).

Job is asking the silver questions. He asks where he can find wisdom and understanding, but he knows it cannot be found on this world. So, he raises his voice to ask where else it could be. What conclusion does he come to? God saying to fear Him and to turn away from evil. Precious. Shining. Golden. God basically says that we can’t obtain it without having faith in Him first. You can’t find it, no matter how long you sit in the corner and ponder the world around you. It’s up to God to distribute it.

I was not happy with this answer.

This passage in Job told me that I didn’t know how much wisdom was actually worth. It told me that I couldn’t ponder my way out of having absolutely no answers. It told me that I had to trust in Him for it. I told me that I had to turn away from everything my sinful self had ever loved to receive it. Precious. Shining. Golden. But most importantly, not what I originally set out for. Instead, it was a thousand times more valuable than the small amount of silver that I was trying to obtain. To think we can find wisdom or understanding though education, society, or ourselves is nothing but falseness and vanity. These things simply allow us to find the important, yet still silver, questions to ask.

What is our job (no pun intended) then? To seek and ponder the golden answers. We follow along in faith and prayer, and we have to start somewhere. We have to start with the silver questions, because sometimes we can’t help but ask anything else.

I’m not offering concretes or absolutes. You can’t find those kinds of things in a blog post. However, channeled through writing, I hope to raise those silver questions. I hope to get you to think. And as we think, let’s find those golden answers that Job knew to cling to. They’re never easy to find, and some are impossible to track down, but if we never ask, then we’ll never know. The task of understanding is somewhat of an impossible one, as I’ve learned. People older and wiser than I have told me that the battle never ends. So let’s fight it together then.

We may not be happy with what we find, but it’s the shining and golden truth that will set us free.