While spring is my favorite time of the year, if I can just get past my distaste for the cold wintery weather and high heating bills that autumn ushers in, I also love fall. The trees turn beautiful shades of yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. The air cools down so daytime temperatures are comfortable and a light jacket keeps us warm at night. The yard no longer needs its weekly mowing and those pesky mosquitoes are gone until spring.
For me, fall ushers in the greatest sport, football, and with the start of school our lives get in a routine. With school, your routine may have gotten busy, but at least you know what you are doing day-to-day.
The other aspe
ct of fall is the harvest. Your garden produce nears its end, and whether you freeze, can, or eat fresh from the garden, you look back with satisfaction over the summer’s crop, plus you are likely already preparing for next year. Farmers are doing the same as they harvest their soybeans and corn with satisfaction that this crop year is ending and they already have their sights set for a better season next year.
Beauty, fun, and satisfaction
Beauty, fun and satisfaction rarely come without effort unless you are a child and others are doing all the work. For example, the past couple of falls I have had fun planting flower bulbs: hyacinths two years ago and tulips last year. The result has been that I can hardly wait for early spring to see the beauty emerge. It brought me delightful satisfaction to look at the magnificence of God’s creation and start planning for this fall’s bulbs to plant.
It takes preparation
In order for me to see the beauty of the spring flowers, I have to plan ahead. This past spring, as the hyacinths and tulips stopped blooming and began to die down, I placed small flags in the ground to mark where I wanted to plant next spring’s flowers: daffodils. And now with several bags of yellow and white daffodils, I will plant the bulbs in preparation of next year’s spring beauty.
Whether you farm for a living or do gardening or landscaping, you know the importance of preparation. If you fail to prepare, you know the dismal results that bring a lot of disappointment.
The same principles
of preparation apply to life. We know that education, whether formal or hands-on training, prepares us for better life experiences, better jobs, and usually more money. At the very least and maybe the most important, preparation by education brings us satisfaction in the work we do or in how we can help others.
Preparation also applies to retirement. If we plan and set money aside as we go through our working and productive years, we will have money to retire on. If we begin the planning and preparation for retirement when we are young, our nest egg waiting for us at retirement will be huge, but failure to plan can be devastating.
The next life
The Bible tells us of our need in preparing for our final destiny. If we prepare as we should
, we too will have a very pleasant surprise upon leaving this life and entering into the next one. Surprise? Yes, we will have a surprise because –
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9
No matter how well the Bible describes heaven to us, we cannot fathom what God has prepared for those who love Him.
Are you preparing for spring?
I have repeatedly stated that one of the most terrifying passages in the Bible to me is Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus begins this teaching in chapter 24 where He tells His disciples about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and the chapter concludes with Jesus stating that no one knows the day or the hour of Jesus’ return.
In Matthew 25 Jesus continues His teaching. He begins with the parable of the ten virgins: five were prepared for a wedding and five were not. The five who were not prepared were locked out. He calls those virgins, foolish. Next, Jesus goes right into the parable about a master, his servants, and bags of gold. We know this parable as the parable of the talents. The one who did nothing except hold onto his bag of gold lost everything because he had not increased the master’s holdings.
Jesus concludes His teaching on this topic in Matthew 25: 31-46 in telling His listeners that in the last day, those who have not been faithful to Him will be cast into eternal fire.
Prepare for the harvest and future beauty.
In every teaching of Matthew 24-25, Jesus tells us that preparation for the next life is vital. Those who prepare have a vast prize waiting for them, while those who do not fully prepare will meet terrible disappointment and devastation.
What we do now has an effect on the next life, whichever one that may be, heaven or the lake of fire. Things that you and I might not think important might be vital. Let’s stop comparing ourselves with others; thinking that we are better than them.
Let’s read the Word of God. Let’s examine the teachings of Jesus. Let’s till the soil. Let’s fertilize, not forgetting the seemingly insignificant micronutrients. Let’s plant the seed. Let’s weed out every single weed.
Let’s prepare for the harvest.
Let’s prepare well.