A few days ago I took my kayak and spent the afternoon on a small, clear mountain lake, fishing. It was miles north of where my wife and I live and the place is amazingly quiet. Our home is in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains so it really does not take me that long to find myself on a quiet stream, pond or lake in the cool shadow of those ancient peaks. One thing I can always count on is that it will be cooler, and the air will be clearer as I begin the ascent into those rugged hills.
There is something about spending a day in the mountains that calms my soul, refreshes my mind and reconnects me to the roots of my childhood. Not that I want to be a child again, or that I dislike my current life. No, in fact I absolutely love what my wife and I have, and I cannot imagine any other life than the one we built together. Yet getting alone in those places of weathered solitude seems to adjust my view of everything in ways that is so needful at times.
Going back to my ancestral home territory, the place where my family put down deep roots, and lived out our family history, stirs something in me. I feel an ancient call rising up inside that pulls on my heart and settles my mind. The rich smell of pine-scented air, the delicious taste of cold mountain water and the symphony of sounds that fill the woods as animals forage to store up their winter’s supply of food, are all primal things. They amplify a cry within me to simplify and focus my own life. They allow me to once again get hold of those things that are really important.
The other thing that hit me was how quickly the seasons can move along in the Northeast. I saw a few splashes of brilliant red on the hillside and that was quite a shock. We have had a few cool mornings, high 40’s and low 50’s and it caused the locals to fire up the wood stove and drive off the early morning chill. Those cool mornings are what triggered the early change in the leaves. Beyond that, I felt something else as I paddled along. There it was, a distinct drift in the wind that was cooler as it came over the mountains from Canada. The clear, northwest flow, and the kind of clouds that came with it, told me our “seasonal shift “ had already happened. In all honesty it left me a bit unsettled because I knew in my heart that things were soon to begin changing in a big way and I was not ready for that yet.
No, fall is not here, but the early indicators of its fast approach from Canada are now present. For those of us who grew up in these mountains we clearly see the handwriting on the wall. Like it or not, “seasonal shift” is a clear indicator in the atmosphere that change is on the way. Basically it means that summer has been formally given it’s eviction notice. The warm weather has not yet moved out, but Autumn has begun to move a few of it’s belongings into our area. The cool undertone in the air, the heavier clouds, the dark, cool rainy days and the northwest shift in wind all mean that in a few short weeks the mornings will get colder and Fall will take up residence once again.
What’s my point? Until I embraced this “seasonal shift” that is clearly pointing to Fall, I could not enjoy the rest of summer that is still here. However, had I decided to fight and dislike the indicators that are all around me, I would have missed the final days of summer’s glory and dreaded the inevitable result that is sure to come anyway. The bottom line is simple, how I decide to walked through a moment of change determines my outlook for the present, and my ability to enjoy the future when it arrives.
Is there a “seasonal shift” happening in your life right now? Please understand that I am not talking about a change in your natural circumstances, even though that will happen as well. What I am referring to is that feeling of definite change in the spiritual environment of your life, but you can’t quite define what it is. Do you sense a distinct change in how the winds are blowing? Are you seeing splashes of color in the distance that were not there before? Do you see a different kind of cloud on the horizon that has left you wondering what is to come? Are you feeling a bit unsettled about everything and not sure what to do about it? If you answered yes to the above, then you are living in, and will have to walk through a “seasonal shift”, and this is a wonderful place to be.
God never feels the need to tell us what He is about to do. He may, but He more often just begins to do something and wants us to keep walking and trusting Him as we go. If He mapped everything out then the adventure of living the Christian life would be so much less exciting. Our God is not boring and neither is serving Him. I am convinced that He does what He dose to shake us up and move us forward when we have gotten stuck. Perhaps what you are feeling right now is His way of telling you to get ready because He is about to pull you out of the mud!
Let me remind you that He is able! He can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you ask or think. However, you will have to walk through that change first in order to get what lies ahead. Relax, go with the flow and never forget that God is good. Spend time in His presence, in His word, in prayer and in worship. In fact, begin to purpose in your heart that you will enjoy the ride. Let go of your need to be in control, and allow yourself be amazed by the beauty of everything that is changing around you. In the end you can trust God and know that He will cause every “seasonal shift” to work out for your good. Once you have this basic thing settled, you can allow each new season to bring new grace and truth to you life. The bottom line is simple, you can’t stop it anyway so you might as well learn how to enjoy it!
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