Friday, September 25, 2015

when you're ready for a change of seasons

Summers in the south can lay heavy and oppressive.  It seems we've been moving in slow motion for months - dragging the weight of the hot humid air everywhere we go.

Fall came early last week and she was a welcome guest.  The cool, crisp mornings cut through my skin and suddenly I am awake, alive again.

Even if we're strong enough to carry heavy things, there's only so far we can go before our bodies give out from fatigue.  Our steps slow to a halt and then we stand still, and full of burden, waiting for the reprieve.


More and more I see life reflected in nature.

I see the cycles and rhythms of the world around me and it looks familiar.  It feels like something I want to fall into and be carried away by.  It makes sense.  The same God who formed this planet and set it spinning through seasons also formed me.

There is so much more unseen than seen in life - so much that we
know
experience
sense
because of the familiar rhythm.
And yet we put our trust and our hope in what our eyes can be set upon.

When Fall pulls back the hot, heavy blanket of summer, exposing our bare skin to the world around us, freedom comes back to me.
It is a freedom I always possess but sometimes forget.

As she bleeds into winter, the heaviness will return to me - this time cold and hard.  I will carry that  burden for a while until Spring comes to melt the frozen places and bring movement back again.

For now I embrace the freedom found in the cooling.  Spring will bring freedom in the thawing.  But the times in between have a work to do too, so I will not curse them.  I will not try to escape them.  I will endure them - with hope.

The seasons of nature reflect the seasons of my soul.  There are times I am covered, buried even, in oppression.  My circumstances heat up and press me down hard - immobilizing me.  But always, if I endure with hope, the Spirit blows in on the wings of a breeze peeling back the layers that held me down until it is the actual presence of God I feel wrapping itself gently around me, offering
new breath
new life
again.

This time of year I instinctively reach for a sweater to protect my skin from the chill, something to flatten the goosebumps back down and into my arms.  But today I stopped myself.  I remained exposed, allowing the chill to touch me, awaken me.  It's uncomfortable and exhilarating all at once.  Nothing brings life like the breath of the Spirit - cool or warm - penetrating through the burden we've been carrying until we can
see again
feel again
be moved to freely engage the world around us again.

This time of year the air is thinner.
It makes it easier for us to see, easier for us to feel.  There is less separation between me and everything else.  Less separation means more connection.  I like connection.

The dog days of summer may have pulled me down into sleep, pressing my eyes shut.  Goodness, I took so many naps.  Heavy seasons of life can do that too - completely shut us down.  But the seasons never stop changing.

So I carry gratitude today for the changing of the seasons and the movement they bring.  And even more I embrace the movement of the Spirit...
the Spirit which has the power to change the very atmosphere around and within me.

Carrying hope for each of you in whatever seasons you find yourself today.  May your souls be awakened as you allow yourself to be exposed to the elements - enduring, not escaping.
Happy weekend, friends.