Reflections from the Rector - October 2019
It is not news that my favorite season is autumn. I live year-round waiting for the joy of pumpkins generally, especially anything labeled "pumpkin spice," crisp fall leaves, sweaters, Halloween, and really anything that is identified as being a part of this season. I am famously known for this love and beginning in mid-September every year, people start tagging me in fall-themed posts on Facebook.
What's so odd about this is that autumn is definitionally about change, which is something I do not enjoy at all! Autumn is the season when we learn that falling can be beautiful, that change might bring us joy if we let it. I think, as funny as it may sound, each year I lean into my love for autumn a bit more, and with that, I lean more into learning to tolerate change. (I won't say I love it, but that I tolerate it better now than I did many years ago.)
Change, like the season of autumn, is inevitable, but it brings some real joys that we miss if we spend all of our time simply being fearful of it. Growing up is a hard type of change, but how would we enjoy life if we had not grown and changed through it. Our opinions change, sometimes becoming more rigid and on other things becoming softer, and in those changes, we grow as the dynamic people we are. Crops have to experience the harvesting of the autumn season if we ever wish to live off of them. Change is hard, and I don't know anyone who really likes it, but to experience change is to be alive, and we all know the alternative.
So, in this season of the earth's change, I'm letting myself ease in a little bit to the places of my life where I am most rigidly against change, while I remind myself of the places in my life that have been softened to the joys of change, because they've survived the changes of my past. I'm able to remember back to my scariest changes and, through remembering them, I am reminded of God's faithfulness to me through them. I am reminded that when the changes of the past felt like they would take me down, God--author of the seasons--was my strength to see me through that fearful shedding of my leaves.
As autumn begins to show itself to us, we might consider it an invitation to soften the edges that are rigid, the areas of our hearts where we don't want God to rustle up our leaves. As autumn begins to show itself to us, we might consider it an invitation to think back to the changes of our past, the times when we were forced to go into uncertainties we didn't want to traverse, when God was the author of our season, writing for us an end in which we were able to weather the change and still sing praises to God for God's faithfulness.
Peace be with you,