Thankful for the leaves of a tree:
There is a volunteer oak in our yard, just outside my kitchen window, that is out of sync with the rest of the deciduous trees. Its leaves change their colors around the same time, but they do not fall off until the new leaves start budding in the spring. Not only that, but the buds don't peak out until well after the other trees are fully dressed. The first year we observed this phenomenon, we thought the thing was dead and procrastination is the only reason it is still there. This time procrastination paid off. I love the tree and its lovely fall wardrobe. Now if I could just figure out a way to keep the squirrels from eating its branches when the sap is running in the spring.
And the leaves of a book:
I have begun reading The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas A Kempis, for the Historical Theology class I am taking. What a wonderful book it is! The chapters are divided into themes and are full of A Kempis's own godly proverbs. The content reveals the author's faithfulness to spend much time in reflection on the Word of God.
The second chapter is called, Of Thinking Humbly of Ourselves, and I have found it to be timely, convicting, and very helpful.
"If thou knowest that thou understandest and knowest much; know also that there be many things more which thou knowest not."
"The highest and most profitable reading is the true knowledge and consideration of ourselves."
How well these two go together. It is too easy for pride to well up in the heart and for us to overestimate our abilities, to esteem ourselves and our understanding too highly. The first proverb puts things into perspective and the second calls us to honestly evaluate who we are. Not an easy thing for a stinking sinner to do. Thank God for His Word, that enables us to see ourselves as we really are in comparison to His holy standard, by the light of His truth.