Autumn comes slowly to South Texas. Our neighbors to the north are wrapping themselves in cozy afghans, lighting the first fire against the frosty night air, taking pictures of spectacular fall foliage, and sipping hot chocolate while we still pull on capris and slip our feet into sandals. Weary of the heat we take measures to entice the first cool front to wend its way south. At the very least, a fall wreath (made up of fake autumn leaves), a pot of colorful mums or pumpkin scented candles can trick us into thinking summer is over. Those things help a bit, but what we’re looking for is the real thing.
Some time around mid-October, it finally happens. In the middle of a sultry afternoon the wind picks up. The trees bend and sway. The temperature drops, and we make a mad dash to the closet and pull on a fluffy sweater.Â We rush outside and inhale the fresh, crisp air.
A few days later we begin to notice subtle changes. Not dramatic sweeps of color across the landscape, but color nonetheless. The artificial props we’ve used pale in comparison. This little splash of color is the real thing. It’s what we’ve been looking for all along. True autumn. It’s coming.
These days many of us, I think, are longing for the real thing - for truth. Somehow it has gotten hard to find - lost in a sea of relativity. We are, it seems, free to find our own truth. Whatever works for us. What is meant to be somehow freeing can leave us floundering - reaching for something secure to hold onto. The artificial “versions,“ even those loosely framed in scripture, simply don’t help when we are going under.
When the worst happens, that thing we’ve always dreaded or never expected; when we’re faced with a moral dilemma and are searching for answers, we need real truth. The kind of truth that is eternal, that has come from wisdom and power far greater than our own. The kind of truth that simply does not fail when lived out.
It turns out it’s easy to find. It’s been there all along. Waiting; unchanging, in the pages of the Book, in the person of Jesus Christ.
‘For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.” Psalm 33:4
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.’ Isaiah 40:8
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” II Timothy 3:16