I remember when I learned that when the leaves change colors in the fall, they are really showing their true colors. All that chlorophyll that has been pumping through their little leaf-veins was covering up the reds and oranges and yellows of the true color of the leaf. It was doing its job to feed and nurture the leaf and the tree from which it grew. Before this knowledge, I was always sad to see autumn come. It felt like death was descending all around.
I was excited when I learned that the colors of autumn are really about the leaves showing their true colors in one last extravagant “Hurrah!” before they were released to float through the air and return to the earth. What a great metaphor for our own uncovering or unveiling—we let go of whatever it is that hides our true colors so that we can be seen for who or what we are. Like the leaves, when we relax the things that are about getting a job done, our true selves are more likely to emerge and shine.
Don’t we all discover more of our own true nature when we slow down and let the mechanisms of our own productive lives rest? Haven’t we all discovered that, when given (or taking) the time to slow down, our souls are allowed to emerge and maybe even be on brilliant display? Imagine how excited God is to see us slow down, power down our “jobs” and see that God created us to be emerge and be on full display.
Part of the invitation to live fully into life is to practice setting aside or turning off that which keeps our true selves from coming forth. We tend to get so good at keeping the “chlorophyll” of our own lives going, we don’t often recognize what is hiding underneath it when it emerges.
That’s what Sabbath is about—turning off our “work” so that God’s creative work in us can come forth. It’s why I often begin worship with an exercise in letting go, breathing in, paying attention and resting in God. It’s a simple way to engage in our own autumn transformation that opens us up to our true selves and allows that true self to be the one we bring to worship.
May the true colors of the leaves around us this autumn serve as nature’s invitation for you to show your true colors.
Have a blessed week.