I was browsing through some papers the other day and came across this story that I want to share with you. It concerns "Old Mother Nature", who teaches us in parables each day. It also concerns life’s Final Hours–perhaps the most misunderstood part of our existence.
One fall day, my uncle and I were walking around his farm–just kind of doing nothing. I was fascinated by an old gnarled apple tree, some limbs broken off and obviously dying, but it was Loaded with Apples. How could a feeble old tree like that have so many apples on it? My uncle explained it this way, "Yes, it’s too bad the old tree is dying and old Mother Nature likes to have one good crop to die on."
A crop to die on! Surely there is a fable in this that teaches us great things. The most beautiful colors of nature are at the end of the year. Many times in the fall, I’ve walked among the beautiful colors of the sweet gum tree and the Spanish oak. The sumac tree has little claim for beauty until the autumn, then there is no crimson like that of the sumac tree.
Are there any colors more beautiful than those at the end of the day? One of the advantages of living in flatland country is the privilege of viewing sunsets. Colors are constantly changing in the bluest of world’s skies. Clouds are hues of crimson and gold. Even when the sun is down its rays illuminate long beautiful moments there after. The spirit of man was created to desire and feast upon such beauty.
The fable in this story concerns the end of our lives. Our present culture puts a premium on youth, but our culture is a creation of man while nature is a creation of God. Very often the most creative, fruitful and valuable era of a man’s life is during the last 20 years. It is during this period we really have time to reflect and think deeply. Harvest time is always at the end of the growing season. It should be a great time of rejoicing in that which is full grown.
It is right for a young man to be clever and quick. Yet, it is the privilege of an old man to be wise and kind. Robert Browning was right when he said, "The best is yet to be." Old age is no time for the Christian to retire.
May we bear our best fruits for the Lord in the last fall of our lives. Before the sunset and our final home . . . "Dear Lord, give me a good crop to die on!”
"Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day" by Glenn Hitchcock