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Why You Need the Fall

Jonathon M. Seidl

September 14, 2023 | 3 minute read

I think fall is my favorite season. I say “think” because spring is a close second, and if the winter is especially cold, you can find me frolicking in the flowers come March like a leprechaun. But generally, fall wins my “favorite season” award.

As we step into that season, my mind has naturally turned to why I love it so much. There’s the start of football season, there’s the cooler temperatures and “sweater weather,” and there are the beautiful colors. All of those things make me happy. But those are kind of surface level. 

So, I started thinking deeper about why I like fall so much. And as I examined myself, I found a nugget of truth I wanted to share with you. I love fall because it reminds me that seasons of hardship – maybe even where parts of me have to die – are not the end. They’re the beginning of something new, something better. 

OK, that may seem a little out of left field, but let me explain. 

When I think of fall, there’s a particular image that comes to mind. I’m probably around seven or eight years old, and I’m with my schoolmates at a park in my small Wisconsin hometown. We didn’t have an official playground at our tiny school, so we would walk across the street to the big park in the center of the city. That park had massive oak, maple and chestnut trees. I can still smell the site, and it would make a Bath & Body Works candle blush. It’s rich, earthy and sweet. It’s perfect. 

I can also still see the park. The tall trees, the vibrant leaves, the light trying to invade the canopy in brilliant streaks, and the myriad of acorns and chestnuts on the ground. It’s those nuts I want to talk to you about. 

The chestnuts, in particular, are pretty neat. Chestnuts fall in a type of green or brown pod that, if I’m honest, kind of looks like the COVID-19 virus. Or an alien – yeah, definitely an alien. When they fall, they generally split slightly open and sit there, waiting for you to pick them up, break open the pod and reveal a shiny, beautiful chestnut. 

Why am I talking to you about that? Well, because I think it’s a pretty cool metaphor for our lives. During the summer of our lives, we learn and we grow. We bask in the sunlight and the warm temperatures. But during that time, there’s something beautiful God is growing inside of us. Inevitably, after that summer, we go through a fall season. That season where we split open, we fall on our faces, and we feel like we’re just sitting there waiting for someone to pick up the pieces. 

Anyone else been there? It may seem lonely and pointless but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Every fall has a purpose. Not just the season but the actual action. The chestnut’s fall is meant to create new life. To take something small and grow it into something mighty; a new tree that offers shade, life, and makes more and more chestnuts. 

Our falls have a purpose, too. Just like the chestnut’s fall is used to usher in something new and grand, God is using your fall (or falls) to usher in a new you.

He tells us this in the Bible. In the book of Romans, chapter 8, verse 28, he says: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

In other words, God promises that your failure – your fall –  is being turned into something new and beautiful.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. The poor chestnut has to “feel” a little out of sorts on its long trip from the branch to the ground. And in fact, that little trip can create the crack in its pod. Ouch! But if not for the trip, if not for that crack, its roots couldn’t grow out, find fertile ground and start growing. 

Friends, we need our falls. We need those trips that crack us a bit that expose us to our purpose. Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter who famously belted “Hallelujah,” once wrote that the cracks are what let the light in. I think he’s right. But God is the light. We have a hard shell at times, and God, in his mercy, allows us to fall so that we might be renewed and turned into something better, something grander. 

So, if you’re struggling with your “fall” season, I want to remind you that there’s a purpose to it. God has promised that. He’s using it. He is using you. This is not for nothing. The failures you may be experiencing right now are not final. They do not define you. In fact, they may just be the beginning of something else. Just like the chestnut’s fall is not the end of its life, but the beginning of a more incredible one as a mighty tree. 

And that’s more beautiful than any park full of fall trees in full bloom.

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. (Jon) Seidl is a writer, speaker, and digital media strategist. He’s the author of the #1 bestseller, Finding Rest: A Survivor’s Guide to Navigating the Valleys of Anxiety, Faith, and Life.

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