This little red leaf, though, had fallen from its branch and was floating on top of the water. I watched it for quite a while before I pointed it out to Glen. We stopped to watch its path in the water. It would twist and turn, sometimes turning over end to end, sometimes turning over side to side. It stayed afloat, however, and kept being pushed along by the current in the brook.
At one point the water reached some unseen obstruction and the water formed a tiny eddy. The leaf swirled around in a circle, seeming to go nowhere, but always in continual motion. Finally, when it completed the full circle, it was released from the current and sent again downstream. We turned to go home and I took one last glimpse of the little red leaf heading further and further down the stream.
When we had stopped to look at the leaf, Glen remarked that he thought the leaf "looked happy" in its casual float down the brook. It wasn't making any effort, yet its very construction was what enabled it to stay afloat. The fact that it had dried out on the branch, in preparation to fall, also helped keep it stiff enough to create a little boat -- or perhaps kayak-- upon the brook.
I am quite certain there are many lessons the Lord would love to teach me in the little red leaf. On the branch it appeared to die before all of the other leaves. It dried up "too soon", but that was exactly what saved it in the water, and what caused it to catch my eye.
It floated, apparently, effortlessly on the water. It let the water and the current be the guide and it was totally submissive to the will of the water. It didn't try to steer, to paddle or to sail. It only did what the water wanted it to do.
When in the eddies of the water, it may have seemed to the leaf as it was going no where, but it was in constant motion traversing the whole range of the circle of water. Only when it had completed the loop, was it free to float again in the easier water.
How much more like the leaf I long to be! I long to remember when I reach the eddies that even it seems as if I am going no where, the Lord is taking me through every detail of a lesson, a situation, so that I can know Him in ways I could know no other way.
I wish to float more effortlessly on the water, and not try so hard to push my own paddle or steer my own rudder. I wish to realize that the river has a course, a plan and a design and that the Lord has promised to make the way plain before my face.
I wish to remember that I cannot compare myself to any other leaf on the tree. The path and the timing the Lord has for me is not the same as for anyone else. Some will turn sooner, some later. Some will fall into the brook, some onto the ground. I must trust and believe that "as for God, His way is perfect."
How great is our Lord that He can hide truths of Himself in something as simple as a fallen leaf.