I have talked with several people lately who have expressed their love for this time of the year. They love the beautiful color, the crisp mornings, and the elimination of many allergens with the first freeze. I like fall as well….kinda. I like fall as an entity unto itself. As a self-contained season it’s fine, but for me fall is the gateway to that next season. The one I have come to despise more and more every year that I live here where cold and snow mark this longest season of the year. For me fall is always viewed through the lens of the huge mountain of winter that follows closely on its heels, and so I struggle with the anticipation of what is to come.
When our daughter was young she had this need to always know what was coming next. We could be at King’s Island or some other annual kid haven having a wonderful time, having just a great day, and Sarah would always need to know what we were doing next. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy the day we were having, but at some point she would always turn her attention to the next thing, she had to be sure that what we were doing tomorrow would be OK too.
As I think about my limited enjoyment of fall due to the pending onslaught of winter and my daughters need to always know what is coming next, it reminds me of those wonderful words of Jesus that I go to so often:
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
(Matthew 6:25-34 The Message)
I’m trying to enjoy fall, in the moment! I’m trying not to anticipate the worst in winter but instead remember that winter gives way, one day, to spring! And more than any of that, I am trying to remember that giving my attention to what God is doing now, refusing to get worked up about what might happen tomorrow, because I know that whatever tomorrow brings, good or bad, is manageable through God’s Spirit at work in and through me is the best way to live every day. May that be so for all of us.