So… I’ve been having quite the day. Kind of interesting how ordinary compounded upon ordinary all of a sudden reaches extraordinary proportions. But, well… at least in my mind, that was what happened today.
If we’re friends on Facebook or if you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw my not so subtle cry for help.
Yeah… those cuties and I were in a epic battles of wits and wills. And since it is now after 10pm and I’ve just barely put them to bed… you are welcome to make your guesses on who won this skirmish.
It felt like war. I know its an exaggeration (forgive me, I don’t mean to make light of war or anything) yet I can honestly say it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration at all.
In fact, I answered a call from a friend around midday like this:
me (answers phone): hello
friend: hey, what are you up to?
me: negotiating with terrorists
friend: okay. I have a BIG favor to ask of you…
Now the funny thing (even at the time) was that she didn’t notice what I said, ’cause you know what? She was having quite the day herself.
Seems to be going around lately.
Seems lots of people are feeling like the world is falling down around them. In the microcosms of our homes and in the immensity of the world around us… things seem to be cascading in a rapid descent.
Autumn can be much more than a mere meteorological season but one of the heart, soul and mind.
How about for you?
We like to celebrate the arrival of autumn. It seems pumpkin spice might be a bit out of control this year, but that aside, we have a sweet spot in our hearts for the crisp autumn air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and leaves changing color.
In all my fondness for this season I so often forget that the “beauty” of autumn comes at a price: the end, the death even, of what spring began and summer grew to fullness.
Beginning on September 22, fall is marked by gradual falling temperatures and the noon sun appearing lower in the sky. Days continue to grow shorter. Plant cycles end. Animals migrate south or prepare for winter sleep. . The leaves of deciduous trees change color and drop off. In the Arctic, the sun no longer rises above the horizon. For the next six months the Arctic will be in darkness.
Autumn brings an end to the growth of spring and summer. I honestly don’t often think about it that way, I’m too busy enjoying the beauty of nature during the changing season. But, let me tell you, when I experience an autumn of the heart, soul, or mind then I know all-to-well the pain of the end of a season of great growth. In that case, I find myself like the snow birds of life who move to a warmer climate to escape the harshness of winter; wishing/praying/hoping/begging that God would spare me from winter of the soul and instead allow me never ending summer in my walk with Him.
We know why autumn comes weather wise here in NY. We’ve been taught since we were young about the earth’s tilt on its axis and the position in orbit around the sun. But what brings about a change of season spiritually?
If we are honest, there are times when our choices have led us down this path. Kind of like the Prodigal Son finding himself feeding the pigs, we can trace our selfishness, greed, and bad choices down the road that resulted in our destruction.
Other times like with Joseph, our dire circumstances came not from our own volition but instead as the result of the ill will and negative actions of others.
Maybe there are times we sit like the man born blind, when all the world around us seeks to know upon whom to cast fault, but it turns out it isn’t blame that should be awarded but Glory about to be revealed.
Possibly we sit like Job, and even when God answers our cries for the meaning behind it all, the why this all had to happen, what we are left with speaks to the greatness of God and a plan too magnificent to comprehend or even begin to control.
Other times, like Paul from behind prison walls , we have the assurance our sacrifice has been worth the “wins” and “losses” because the times of growing and the times of dying, we’d give them ALL for Christ.
Hey you, yes you, I don’t know the details of your autumn story. I don’t know what great plans for growth you’d been making. I don’t know what glorious summer of the Spirit you’d been having. I don’t know what fruit you’d harvested. I don’t know what pains you’ve experienced as things seem to be collapsing down around you. I don’t know what plans you’ve seen whither away. I don’t know what fears for the future you face.
But I do know God whose love is so high and deep and wide and so great that we can never fully understand it. I know God whose plans for us are good and full of true hope. I know God who will work all things to our good.
Tonight, for you as you face this time of autumn, I pray this right from Philippians and Ephesians. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”