The Midwest is experiencing change. We see glorious beauty as leaves of green have transitioned into a rainbow of yellow, orange, red, purple and brown hues! The days are shorter. The air has a crisp feel. The wind carries the whispering sound of leaves - bumping their way down the tree to the ground or being rustled off the ground as they swirl and crunch at our boot-covered feet. The smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and burning leaves abound. The tastes greeting our mouths are all things apple, squash and pumpkin. I love autumn!
We see all of these changes transpiring around us, and yet we aren't surprised. We knew that this was coming. We expect the seasons to change. We have learned to embrace the new joys that each season can bring. (Although some seasons can seem to have more joys than others at times!)
Yet while we expect change to happen with nature, sometimes in life, we seem to expect things to go on as they always have. We want our little ones to keep napping at that certain time. We want that one discipline strategy to work equally well on all three of our very unique children. We want to maintain our twenty-something look when we have put our body though many demands for a few (or maybe many) more years. We want our relationships to continue as they were - even though schedules, circumstances, and living locations may be different. We want a steady career - even though our needs and desires for what work needs to be are altered.
What would happen if we adjusted our expectations? What if we embraced the principle, "The only constant is change?" What if instead of lamenting the loss of flip flops and sandals, we looked for the secret joys only available during boot season? What if instead of bemoaning those nights we were up with children struggling to sleep, we enjoyed the brief time we are privileged to have them want and need us in the middle of the night? What if we looked for the specific opportunities arising from change in our lives? The stunning glory of autumn leaves is not found in the summer. But, summer has a majesty all of its own. Likewise, each change occurring in our life has the opportunity to bring us new joy, new depth, new awareness, new relationships and new wisdom. It all depends on how we determine to view this change.
What change are you experiencing in your life? What is the opportunity in this season? How can you intentionally choose to see it? How will you embrace the opportunity?
It might not look like jumping in the fallen leaves, eating pumpkin pie, or getting family pictures before an amazing autumn landscape. But, with a little intention, we can choose to fully experience and celebrate any season of change in our lives - even those when we are wearing our boots!
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)