Autumn is here already
Orange-brown leaves already lie strewn across my driveway and lawn. Our chickens are lovely once again with freshly grown feathers replacing the sparse pins left after molting. I hear mice touring our walls, evaluating which apartment to lease for the winter. Today is hot and sunny, but the forecast projects that an autumn chill will rush in this week. Where did summer go?
For me, the summer was a blur of homeschooling, physical therapy, working alongside my husband to birth a new business, and persevering through a seemingly unending building project drama. Just as one season follows the last, ushering in its changes, the seasons of life arrive and pass whether we’re prepared or not. It seems I’m never prepared.
My current season of life is one with few margins, regardless of how fiercely I try to protect them. It’s a season of doing a lot of things I’d prefer not to do and of putting off some things I want to do. A season removed from much solitude or quiet. A season immersed in activity, and in the delightful and challenging messes of abundant relationships.
I enjoy summer, autumn, winter, and spring. I appreciate each of their unique treasures and benefits. If I’m completely honest, then I must admit that autumn is my favorite. Yet I don’t dread the others or mourn autumn’s absence. Each season both thrills and tests me in its own way.
The same is true of life’s seasons. For now I may have to put off things I’d like to do, but there are so many blessings for me to drink in. If I’m not careful I have a tendency to focus on what I can’t do instead of the season God has placed me in right now. My, how much I miss when I fall into that trap!
When I focus on all the things I can’t do, I am blinded to the blessings right in front of me, perhaps even to the blessing of Christ Himself and His work in my life. Blindness like this seems to be what causes so many people I know to despair. I resolved a long time ago to strive, by God’s grace, not to fall into that pit again – or certainly not to set up camp and live there when I do fall in.
Right now I have the sweetest, deepest, and most flourishing relationships with my children that I’ve ever had. Right now I have an abundance of time with my husband and an opportunity to serve him not only at home but also in his occupation. Right now I have people of all sorts placed in my path to exhort and to evangelize. Right now Christ is using my unique season to mold, shape, and refine me. Right now Christ is drawing me into a deeper relationship with Himself. I’d be a fool to miss or ruin these blessings by selfish brooding.
I encourage us all to humbly accept the season we’re in: still single, newlyweds, or married for decades; trying to have babies, overrun with babies, or overrun with teens; lots of relationships or lots of solitude; peace or persecution; famine or feast.
Praise God for each season’s joys and blessings, and pray over each season’s difficulties. Know Him, abide in Him, rest in Him, trust Him, and obey Him. Before we know it, this season will be over, our joys and challenges will be different, and God will still be the Source of every good thing, and the One who really matters.