Navigating a New Season

The falling leaves remind this pastor that we can lean on Biblical wisdom to get through this difficult season in our country.

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Posted in , Nov 2, 2020

Colorful fall foliage scenery.

Every new season brings with it a sense of awe. It was once said that Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. Just as the leaves fall to the ground, I believe that this autumn season invites us on a journey of letting things go in our lives that no longer suit our purpose and priorities.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, we find the familiar verse: “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” I’ve thought about these words frequently through the years, but I must admit that living through this pandemic has turned my attention toward a lesser known verse in the same chapter. Check out Verse 5: “there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” It’s amazing how a crisis causes you to see and think differently. Of course the phrase “refrain from embracing” has taken on a whole new meaning during this era of “social distancing.” We are reminded constantly to stay away from others. The challenge, I think, is to somehow learn not to put up walls in our heart, the same way that we’ve had to put up walls in our physical spaces. But recently, I’ve learned to embrace the beauty of this message—and the beauty of embracing boundaries.

While I remain aware of what is going on in the world around me, I’m also turning inward and focusing on what is right in front of me and what I can do to help my church, my country and the world right now.  
 
In Proverbs 18:21, Solomon writes, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I’ve always been baffled at the ordering of that verse. Why is it that he shares death first and then life? It has been said that over 70% of our self-talk is negative and we suffocate our dreams and desires before giving them a chance to live.

 I believe that as we enter this unusual Autumn season, we should try to reverse course and do as Jesus admonished in John 10:10: “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Although we must embrace our separateness and honor our boundaries I want to invite you to speak life everywhere— and to everyone.

In this season, where we are mourning so much loss—of loved ones, of jobs, of our way of life—we must be life-giving with others, and become a herald of hope in this world of hopelessness. Let’s turn the page and embrace the beauty of a new season with every step bearing the seeds of a new beginning.

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