Changing Seasons and Seasons of the Spirit

    Each year as summer begins to give way to fall and the days get shorter, I can’t help but have a mix of emotions.  Just over the horizon of the year stands the busy fall.  The beginning of school, the kick off of fall ministries, fall sports and many more things are looming.  Today I sit and wonder why it is that this is the image of the future I hold.  Should the future be a burden?  Perhaps personal and corporate history says yes, but it doesn’t have to be so.

    Looking to the future with dread is not a healthy or faithful response to the world.  Our God has promised good to us and we should hold that hope out in front of us not as a reward for suffering but a current reality.  Far too often we use the “pie in the sky” as a motivation rather than reveling in the goodness God has provided around us. 

   As you begin to look forward to what the fall holds, I pray that you will be blessed with a deep and abiding knowledge that God is present in your life.   I offer these questions as way to help you discern God’s presence in your life.

  • In what events or experiences have you felt God’s presence in your life this summer?
  • What are you most looking forward to this fall?
  • How can you open your heart to God’s presence?
  • Are there things in your life that are not spiritual blessings but instead spiritual drains?  Can these things be eliminated?
  • How can the spiritual community of the Church help you find ways to celebrate the blessings in your life today?

I pray that God will help you to find blessings in your life.  I also invite you into conversation about how the church and I can help you grow in discipleship. 

Holy God, as we transition from summer to fall, we seek your guiding spirit in our midst.  Help us to recognize your blessings in the midst of the chaos of our lives.  In our recognition of blessings, may we find strength and hope.  Finally Lord, guide us to make our lives conform to your will and help us to make decisions about our time with your loving Spirit. AMEN

 

6 thoughts on “Changing Seasons and Seasons of the Spirit

  1. “Should the future be a burden”?? No. Here’s how I look at it. We endure the chaos, because we are working toward a better future. Some times the details of the calendar can overwhelm – even with things in our life that, in the end, fill us up rather than drain us. That is why the fall can be “looming”. The future seems busy – while there is anticipation of new beginnings and what is to come, the fruits of all that work are still far off. Right now its just work. But as with most things – anything that will bring value in the end, often requires patience and hard work. It is that way whether it the school year, VBS, parenting or our Christian journey. But God is just as present in the chaos as he is at the finish line. And therein lies the comfort and the strength to journey on.

  2. I’m still enjoying the laziness of summer (I hang onto that as long as possible : )– but I’m also excited about what God’s going to be up to in the fall. I have my plans of course, but I love the surprises that the Holy Spirit brings– even though I don’t always act that way at first ; ). And besides, the Nationals and the White Sox are both doing great, how can I help but be optimistic?

  3. OK -i I don’t want summer to end! Even though it has been hot as Hades, I haven’t gotten to the beach, nor even Splashdown. They were on my to do for this summer. But I am looking forward to trip with Len to New Orleans in 3 weeks – and keeping my eye on Isaac. I pray NOLA won’t get washed away again. I look forward to the cooler weather when I hope I will get more walking done, so I can participate in a 5K, but I’m happy in the moment. Not very spiritual, huh?

  4. I am both comforted and encouraged in the knowledge that with Jesus’ Resurrection the future has broken into the present. And through the gift of the Holy Spirit we may live into that future every day. And that future is secure. One day we will be raised to our own Resurrection bodies. That gets a big Alleluia!

    I am most aware of God’s presence when we gather for Bible Study on Mondays and again on Thursdays for worship at Sunrise Hunter Mill. Whether asking a question or praying with a resident, words tumble out that actually surprise me. That’s a praise.

    As for the patience being worked in me as Joe descends into dementia, I’m often amazed as the Lord continues to work a new creation. Thanks be to God.

    God’s promises are real!

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