I swept the leaves in my garden yesterday. I’ve had to sweep them again today, and no doubt I’ll sweep them many more times before autumn is over and the winter is truly upon us. I live in a tree preservation area, and there are mature trees all around, oak, horse-chestnut, ash and hornbeam to name but a few. Don’t get me wrong, I love the trees, but it does get to be a bit of a chore in the autumn! The trouble is, if I just leave the leaves (!), the grass suffers, and big muddy brown patches develop. And I have a dog, so if I don’t clear up the leaves, I am likely to put my foot in it – literally!
While I was sweeping the leaves, I got to thinking, as I often do. I thought about how life seems to drop things on us, quite softly, and almost imperceptibly, a bit like autumn leaves falling on us. Things like disappointment, resentment, being over-looked or undervalued, advertising lies designed to make us feel inadequate or greedy for what we haven’t got; injustice, sickness, bereavement – and so the list goes on. Often they can be little insignificant things, but even small things build up. If we’re not careful all this rubbish that is drifting down on us can block out the light, and begin to stifle the life out of us. Then we need to get out our metaphorical rakes and brooms, and sweep them away. Or sometimes if we’re fortunate, and if we ask Him to, the Holy Spirit will blow them away for us.