“The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
Dear Redeemer Family:
If you are wondering why I chose the above verse, it’s simple. I needed a text about the weather, and that is the one which sprang to mind! But, the text does point out something poignant; with all of our knowledge and technology, around here, it’s about 50% guess work! As I write this, we are still in August. But, it has rained several days this week. The Dog Days of Summer are soaking wet. Not to mention that we kind of skipped Spring (about a week does not a Spring make) this year and went straight to Summer. We are living in strange times. Still, there are things that we do know, and can predict.
Autumn comes as a signal that inevitable winter lies ahead. To many, especially those of us in this northern hemisphere, autumn’s cool, crisp air is a welcome relief from summer heat. I can’t wait. And its brilliant colors are a thing of beauty. I believe that autumn is the prettiest of the seasons by far. In the churches and communities, this season is also a gathering back in from summer activity, the start of a new school and church program year. The outside air is different, and so is the pace. But just when we think the earth is undergoing its seasonal death, seeds are being planted for new growth; in the soil and in the people.
Parker Palmer writes that faced with inevitable winter, autumn “scatters the seed that will bring new growth in the spring. And she scatters them with amazing abandon.” He admits that he is rarely aware of the seeds being planted. He is more focused on the green growth of summer browning and dying, “My delight in the autumn colors is always tinged with melancholy, a sense of impending loss that is only heightened by the beauty all around. I am drawn down by the prospect of death more than I am lifted by the hope of new life.”
In a paradox, opposites don’t negate each other, he reminds us. “They cohere in mysterious unity at the heart of reality. We live in a culture that prefers the ease of either/or thinking, and have a difficult time holding opposites together. We want light without darkness, the glories of spring and summer without the demands of autumn and winter.”
As we move into autumn, let us allow the paradox of darkness and light to just be. The two will conspire to bring wholeness and health to every living thing. As we experience living and dying, dying and living, our lives will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole. Let’s enjoy our seasons as they come, and look towards those whose coming they foretell. Enjoy the blessed season, whatever it may be.