Raking leaves has largely been replaced with machines that either vacuum them or mulch them or both.

I did not mind raking leaves when I was in college and getting paid for it or when I had a small yard of my own and it did not take long to finish.

Even with a large yard, it would not be such an impossible task if all the leaves fell at the same time. But first there are the big sycamore leaves, then the elm, hickory and redbud drop their leaves. Last are certain varieties of the oak, some of which still have leaves on them.

These leaves hang on all winter and only come off when the new growth of spring forces them off.

Some of you made New Year’s Resolutions. If you keep them past January, you are among the elite few. Some of you know the frustration of trying to break a long established habit. It is not easy. But the oak trees have something to teach us. When you have a habit that hangs on, replace it with something new.

This is why the apostle Peter encourages us to continue adding wholesome virtues to our lives.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. - II Peter 1:3:8 NIV.

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.