SEASONS CHANGE. EMBRACE IT.
People love fall. Seriously, I feel like people get more excited about this season than any other. This year proved to be no exception to the “Autumn is coming” hype. With more football greatness than usual, Labor Day Weekend lived up to fans’ expectations. In week 2 of the 2016 college football season we witnessed the biggest game in history (at least in terms of live attendance). Suffice it to say that, if you’re a sports fan, this is a great time of the year.
The craze doesn’t end with sporting events, however. People love fall for a multitude of other reasons: bow season, outdoor fire pits, sweater weather, and, of course, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (which was, for the most part, received early with open arms).
For most of my life, I have not been one of these people.
Growing up, fall was my least favorite season, mainly for the following reasons:
- School begins. (Logical corollary: summer break ends.)
- It gets cold.
- Everything begins to die.
- Days get shorter.
It wasn’t until the recent period of my life, however, that I began to look at fall from a different perspective and tried to focus on some reasons that it is not so bad.
Fall helps us live in community.
In Tennessee, it seems like there is a craft fair, ball game, or festival every single weekend in the fall. There is something special about the experience of seeing old friends, especially when you get a big dose of it. When God made Adam, he said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. I like to think that this was a subtle hint for us to make sure we spend time with our friends and family. Whether that’s gathering in the stands to cheer someone on every Friday night, huddling around the TV to watch a game on Saturday, or walking around a festival to talk to everyone you haven’t seen in years, it is worthwhile to reconnect with people.
A reminder to slow down and rest.
Rest is essential to the physical self. It is also spiritual, however. It’s something so important that God set aside time during creation for it, and then he included it in the Ten Commandments. It’s tempting to distill “remember the sabbath” down to “don’t work on Sunday” and to think we’re following this rule if we aren’t at our place of business on Sunday. As I get older, however, I think there’s more to it than that.
Life can be draining, especially as you get older and have more responsibilities. That makes it more and more important to rest well. Do things that recharge you. Be with family. Find a hobby that you’re passionate about. Spend time with God. Embrace life.
Make your times of rest count. Don’t waste all day staring at your phone (as I’ve been known to do). Rest well. Do things that leave you feeling more alive.
In allowing the fall culture and traditions to thrive, perhaps God knew that we’d be tempted to keep going. Maybe he knew that we wouldn’t make a conscious effort to slow down because there would always be something to keep us busy.
Maybe we needed something to help us rest.
This season can help us to slow down, recharge, and avoid burnout. By resting, we can return to our lives ready to do more and live better.
Things change, and that’s good.
I didn’t like fall as kid because it brought change, and I was happy with the way things were in the summer. A new season meant saying goodbye to things I loved. Truth be told, many of us probably struggle as we change seasons of our lives too. Change can be uncomfortable, and letting go of what we know is scary. If we are willing to accept that change is inevitable, however, we find that it’s something we can appreciate.
Although sometimes painful, change can bring things we would gladly welcome. No one enjoys falling down, but it’s through that tough transition that we learn to walk. Growing up can be daunting, but you find that life is so much better on the other side. Sometimes good things have to end so new ones can begin.
The change is never easy, but it is worth it if you allow it. If you look for the good things in the new seasons, you’ll find that you are blessed in all stages of life. The blessings just take new forms.
So embrace the season.
Watch College Gameday.
Get in the tree stand.
Sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and enjoy creation.
Do whatever you need to do to rest, and rest well. Embrace new seasons. Sometimes you will find that the best moments of life come in the most unexpected of times.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.