Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted… a time to break down, and a time to build up.
With a deep sigh, the summer comes to an unofficial close, and we move into a different routine. Many people will say they LOVE fall, if only it were not followed by winter…. Spring is new, fresh, and welcomed after the long winter. When we step outside the air somehow seems refreshing and life-giving after a winter of air that freeze your nose hairs and tightens your lungs. Summer is welcomed with open arms, more time outside, longer days, and vacations. But, summer is a mixed blessing for many. We long for the summer. Then, when it gets here, we fill it with so much to do, we are exhausted, but we still want to soak in as much sun as we can and not miss out on anything. For parents with school-age children, they can’t believe another school year is almost here, but they’re running on empty with frazzled nerves to prove it. They are more than ready to get children back to school. With the deep sigh, we sometimes pledge that we are going to do things differently next summer because the pace was exhausting.
But, as summer comes around again, we often find ourselves hopping on the hamster wheel again. Why do we do this to ourselves? To our families?
May I suggest grabbing a pen and a notebook or a stack of post-it notes and enter a reflective season? Spend time praying with God and write. Don’t start with your lists of things you want to change. Start with what you desire for your life, your family, and importantly, what you think God desires for all of us. Don’t race through this reflective season; take time and return to it daily. Then, write your “sighs” down on paper. What are you going to miss? What do you NOT want to do again? What exhausted you? What energized you? What just wore you out? What did you miss, or got left undone and did it matter? How do these “sighs” align with your lists of desires and God’s?
When we step back from our everyday lives and reflect, pray, and pay attention not only to what we do, why, and how we feel about it we are better able to make lasting changes. So take a deep breath of that crisp Fall air and enter a reflective season.
Pray: Good and gracious God, sometimes our desires to do more, experience more, and provide more leave us with even less. As we release that deep sigh, let our next breath in be Your Spirit clearing our minds so we may enter a season of reflection, In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.