Leaves in the Wind
After an unusually cool summer, September moved in, but was unable to evict the prior month. August belatedly fired up the furnace ...comandeering a few hot days to demonstrate its significance before relinquishing control to the new schedule tenant.
But the heat felt different, somewhat transient. Like a hurried passion clutching time already moving past. School buses are rolling, mornings are getting darker, jackets are waiting ...the summer days need to realize their opportunity is about done.
Life is like that. Already, looking back at photos from just a mere month ago makes my eyes misty.
That week in DC.
Time with the kids strolling the national mall, absorbing the museums, boating the Potomac, and dining in Georgetown. Days borrowed from time before our family changed yet again. And now Kirsten is off to college, Ben starting his first company, and the boys back to school.
Today I am busy on my cell phone arranging work projects, walking under the tall trees that surround the drive - a canopy sheltering peaceful space far below (and blocking my cell reception, lol). Scuffing my shoes I can still see the remnants of last fall littered about, brown and mottled, bits of nutrition blending into the earth. Of course now the trees are preparing to contribute to this new season ...just as soon as August decides to submit to the natural progression God promised would continue to the end (Gen 8:22: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.")
So fall is coming ...and we are bustling about as the gift of nature choreographs the moving parts of the set we inhabit.
The road crews are headed down the home stretch for 2013. Red dump-trucks on the highway contrast with waving corn fields, half green and half golden. I put my hand on the door knob and see wood spiders clinging to the door frame that are waiting to get in the house as if they know frost is just around the corner.
Driving up the hill I slow for a rafter of turkeys that scoot across the road, poults still staying close to their mother for safety. Soon enough the little toms will leave to forge their own way. For now they absorb confidence from watching mom navigate this strange and exciting season. She knows instinctively to follow the pattern instilled by her own mother ...which includes of course eventual independence for her young.
And so it is that living things spend time hanging on to the seasons of life ...while preparing to let go.
School and vacation, childhood and teen years. College and careers. Relationships and marriage. Our family has seen it all including death and divorce. More heartbreak than I would wish on anyone.
Recently I have been fighting off the complications of lyme disease compliments of a tick bite. It is a challenge to muster excitement and lead a family and company while shaking occasional waves of utter exhaustion interspersed with relative energy and health.
It is strange to face something so debilitating that forces one to halt and take measure of mortality.
Just as the inexorable march of the year constantly remakes expendable portions of the landscape ...your own bodily frame is comprised of mere temporary pieces that drift away before the breath of time. Amazing that intense energy, and indelible memories are interspersed with such fragile circumstance in the grand tapestry God weaves for us.
In quiet perspectives like this, I reach out for the hand of God and am amazed afresh to find He was never gone. I discover again that tough times can be the best times if you walk through them with Him. I feel a peace, a confidence born out of the assurance that our Father is present through it all.
That faith is anchored by the life and sacrifice of our Savior who faced ultimate suffering joyfully with celebration and passion. He followed through on His timeless promise for us ...proving His purpose and putting credentials behind His Word.
That makes my purpose here so much larger than gathering possessions, maintaining health, or even long life (although all three are blessings :) My goal is to be closer to God throughout the path of life whether it be up OR down hill..
That gives me the perspective to cherish the beautiful things around me, even if at the moment the rest of my life is more challenging than I might desire. That gives me the patience to deal with difficult people and contrary circumstances. That helps me be full of joy even when I am hurting. That makes my heart burst with happiness from making someone feel loved even IF it takes energy I really didn't have to spare.
So it is that we can forge forward in tough days and in good days. And take time despite stress to celebrate the wonder of holding a little hand, or hugging a little chest ...being a serene security blanket for another person even though our own circumstances might be threatening to unravel.
Because we know God is always there to hug us too ...when we are sick, or tired, or broke, or hurt. And the comfort isn't primarily because our problems go away ...but because He's there hugging us.
So if today I see a mountain of work, opportunities larger than life ...and stress past my ability to cope, then I reach to God for strength, companionship, and unfailing love to carry me through to the conclusion of his marvelous plan.
God made the trees. God made the wind. He preserves His precious things to be together with Himself forever. And so He will stay with us while we work and play, laugh and hurt ...while life moves on, memories glow, and the leaves float by as the wind blows us all home.