Fall is my favorite time of year. The fresh air, the reduction of the bug population, the improvement in fishing, and especially the color that is all around moves me to thank God for life and for the things he has done to make our lives beautiful and meaningful. Proverbs 8 talks about the wisdom in the design of all we see, and indeed why all of this happens IS a demonstration of God’s wisdom.
When you look at a green leaf, the color you see comes from the chlorophyll which contains a green pigment. When sunlight strikes the leaf, the chlorophyll breaks down. Plants would not stay green if it were not for the fact that the tree continually produces chlorophyll during the growing season. Leaves have other compounds in them that contribute to the growth of the plant. Each of these compounds has a color. In aspens and birches that compound is yellow. When nights start growing long, the birches and aspens stop making chlorophyll. When the chlorophyll is burned out of the leaves, the remaining yellow compound is all that we see.
Maple trees have an energy-storing compound called anthocyanin which they make from sugar. Anthocyanin is red or purple, depending on the pH of the soil. When the green chlorophyll is burned out of the maples, what is left behind is the beautiful red and purple colors we see in so many areas of North America.
We sing a song titled “For the Beauty of the Earth,” and in that song we reflect on God's attention to what is beautiful in life. At this time of year we thank God for the beauty we see in the created things around us. The song goes on to remind us to be thankful for “the joy of human love” and for the church. If you are a Christian you can pause and thank God for all he has done to bless you with color, love, and spiritual peace. If you have not found that beauty and that peace we urge you to look at the wisdom in all God has done and embrace it as a guide to your choices in life.
Photo: Roland Earnst.