Purposeful Living: Lessons From a Leaf

By Duane Cragun
Today it was unseasonably warm outside so I decided to clean the gutters. As I was working I saw some of the few leaves left in the yard that had fallen from the maple tree out front. They were being blown around in a whirl wind. As I watched them, one of the leaves escaped its little vortex and landed by my feet, I picked it up and looked it. It struck me somewhat odd that something that was once green and alive, is now brown and dead. This caused me to look at the tree with its bare branches and think about how short time is. This very leaf was a sign of warmer weather coming last spring when it started to bud, and now here it is, in just a few short months, dead and gone.

What about our lives, are they that short? Most of our lives are usually much longer than that of this leaf, but how do our lives look to God? Are they short or long? Are they productive or wasted? Are we like this leaf, here today and gone tomorrow? If so how can one measure their own life and worth?

The thought came to me that it’s not the amount of time we are given in this world, but what we do with it. Think about all that this little leaf did during its short life time. It helped bring shade on a hot summer’s day, it gave protection from the rain and sunlight for the birds that nested within the tree, and it even helped make oxygen for this world. For something so small it has made a lasting impact, can this be said for us? Can anyone see that we have made things better for others?

You see, God made this leaf for a purpose, it had a job to fulfill, and so do we. We are called to be witness for the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20). This means to bring them the Good News of the Gospel, to share what we, as believers, have found with others.  This hope brings life and protection from the Lord and stops the plans of the Evil One in his tracks. Just as we saw the good that a leaf can do, so others need to see the good that we, in the power and grace of our Lord Jesus the Christ, can do. This is how we as believers should have our lifetime measured, not by how long we may live, but by how much we followed the will of the Father, and became good servants for Him.

Just like the leaf, one day we to will come the end of this life. The leaf does this by giving us a beautiful show of color before it ends, let us do it by giving the beautiful light of Christ for all to see, so we can brighten their lives.  Then, just as in the spring the tree is rewarded with new life in its branches, so we to will be given a brand new life that will never end. I guess you can learn a lot from a leaf

By Duane Cragun