This post first appeared about two weeks ago on Bibledude.net. I’m now pleased to share it here (with a few adjustments).
It’s October-ish—middleof. The seasons are changing and where I live, the Pacific Northwest, the signs are everywhere. Colors go magenta, pumpkin and purple on the maple trees, the wind is lightening the leaf load and all this mess is a sign that something is coming to an end.
When things are messy-and-in-between-it can be a good sign. It means there is new birth to come.
God has always used the outside world and its changes to speak to me and this year is no exception.
Because truth be told I’m feeling a little loose around the edges—unsettled, unfocused, transitional.
I’m musing as I write this and glance up from my desk at the Infographic I drew last year. It’s taped to the pencil holder.
“One Year with God” I wrote across the top. (I know, as if…..as if I could plan it. But wait, you’ll see what I mean.)
The months are drawn in small squares around a hub like spokes in a wheel, a cycle of moments, days, weeks all adding up to a year.
I am a very big-picture, sort of all-at-once thinker. I like to have all the pieces in plain view SO I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING. A framework to build in–the inside pieces may adjust but the goals around the edges help me know my place.
When I have that little piece of paper to refer to, it helps me center myself, see if I’m on track.
It only took me about 40 years to get a handle on this cycle—forty years of not living in a straight line, watching life patterns and practices show up rather expectedly, like the seasons.
I need to make sense of my life, find some order in the disorder, pay attention to the God seasons—when they’re dry and quiet, when they’re verdant and noisy….they’re all part of the picture.
If I had my druthers it would always be winter (with Christmas of course, no White Witch allowed).
I’d be like Emily Dickinson, shut up in my room with nothing but books and pen and paper my companions.
I’d write all day long, read and study God’s word, pore over old texts, spend time with the Psalms and the old guys—Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Herbert—relishing their words.
The snow would fall, I would drink tea. There would be a cozy fire.
But alas, one must live in the real world.
Spring and summer come each year and with them, growth and activity.
There are parties and celebrations, multitudes of people. Gardens to tend to, tomatoes to harvest. Sunsets to enjoy, barbecues, camping, late nights by the ocean. One blessed glorious doing kind of thing after another.
No time to sit in the window seat and bask in the quiet, musing and reading. Time to be being.
Yes, thankfully, all seasons change, leaves marking the time, and here we are in October.
My life marker sign looks like this:
May through October is arced across the top, rainbow-shaped.
In all caps under the arc:
–OUT- SERVE- ‘DO what you know’
November through April, the bottom of the arc, u-shaped.
In all caps inside the U:
-IN-STUDY- ‘KNOW what to do’
(maybe a photo will help).
It has been a busy DOING time for me—serving in many places and doors opening for other opportunities.
But I look forward to the next season of quiet BEING.
And it occurs to me as the leaves yellow and fly, the world hushes with foggy mornings, colors fade and the sun sends itself home sooner that this twilight is leading to softer, simpler, less busy times.
I will settle in, sit and study and be still.
I think I’m right on schedule.
and Laura for
more inspiring words for you there