I went out again with my camera yesterday -- fall is particularly beautiful this year -- and caught this lovely little surprise by the side of the road.
We just assume at times like this that something as simple as a yellow leaf falling on a red bush is merely a happy accident. But Anthony Bloom, in his Beginning to Pray, suggests otherwise:
"If you accept that this day was blessed of God, chosen by God with His own hand, then every person you meet is a gift of God, every circumstance you will meet is a gift of God, whether it is bitter or sweet, whether you like or dislike it. It is God's own gift to you and if you take it that way, then you can face any situation..."
I'm surely a person of faith, and yet something in me rebels against this idea. It might, of course, just be the language... or it might be that I can't handle the challenge of it; haven't yet achieved that level of commitment. And it is rather painfully reminiscent of the predestination stuff that I absorbed in my childhood.
But it's good to think of things in this way. If I accept that everything that happens to me today -- good or bad -- is a gift from God, how will I behave differently?