I'm just gonna say it since it's just around the corner: Fall is a lackluster time of year.
Why are we so excited about everything dying and getting dark?
Sure, it's beautiful, I'll give you that. Back when I lived at the Cincinnati Zoo I enjoyed seeing the leaves change color.
But that crisp air and falling leaves last for about 3 days before rain and mud turn those radiant leaves into a thick mat of death with a consistency somewhere between hair caught in the shower drain and soggy cereal.
You humans invented football, I'll give you that. As Nature turns back toward entropy and gloom, you let your sons compete for glory in the fading of the light. It's poetic. Never say that humans can't get some things right.
But you also invented big game hunting, which is oh-so ever popular in autumn. And you know how I feel about that.
The rest is just a slow descent into despair, and you know it. Why else would you mark the cooling of the earth by gathering with family and friends to drown your unconscious sorrows in as much food as possible?
Why else would you distract yourself with TV shows and endless shopping and sugar-and-pumpkin laced everything?
Oh, don't even get me STARTED on pumpkin.
I'm pretty sure the devil himself corrupted whatever weed that foul plant once was. The fact that Starbucks markets it so heavily is further proof.
Oh, they look pretty, do they? I see you over there with your scarf and your latte and your flannel and the little boots you've been waiting to wear since spring.
Pumpkins quickly possessed the minds of early American settlers when they came from Europe. A poem from 1630 reads, "If it were not for pumpkins, we would have been undone," crediting the orange monstrosity for their survival.
Now that we have actual food, the pumpkin is hardly used as a crop. Instead, we create Jack O'Lanterns out of them, named after "Stingy Jack," an Irish lad who was so twisted and tricksy that Satan himself refused him entrance to hell.
We pay homage to this dark character by scooping out the slimy guts of the pumpkin, which are totally worthless except for its flavorless seeds that can be cooked to taste like cardboard, and desecrating the pumpkin's skin by carving faces into it.
Do you think there will celebrations of decay and rot in the new heavens and the new earth, where there is no death or suffering? Of course not. Therefore, fall is merely a reminder of the fallen state of our world and our need for God's salvation.
Here I stand – I can do no other.
Fall is a time to celebrate the year's blessings (since fall has none of its own), so I'll give you Thanksgiving, but it's really just a busy, darkening, increasingly cold time of year that's only bearable because of football and food.
In the end, my friends, it's merely a prelude to Christmas before the glories of spring and summer come round once again.
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