The seasons are confused. Autumn rushed in, then took a step back. It began Memorial Day weekend, when an afternoon storm swept away the 90+ degree weather and ushered in a month of chill. But as October came, Summer wanted a final rebuttal. Temperatures have climbed back into the 80s, as if Fall never started. Yet the signs of Fall are unmistakeable. The trees are gilded. Crunchy leaves rustle along the ground. Pumpkins and mums adorn porches.
I am also confused. Time passage is baffling. Days are long, but months are fast. They sneak by unnoticed and I’m left wondering where the time has gone. I’m left wondering what I have been doing.
I have been much busier the past couple months. I chose to let go of the thought that we won’t be in Indiana long. It’s still there, but it’s no longer an excuse to live in limbo. Even if I had a clear plan for my future, I wouldn’t truly know what God will bring tomorrow. He has blessed me with this moment, this hour, this day. It’s wrong to waste it wondering. So I’ve started to grow roots here. And if it means I will be uprooted, so be it. I’m opening my heart to friendships that go deeper than surface level. If that means I will eventually miss these people, I will count that among my blessings. I may start things I will never finish. That will be far better than doing nothing.
Today I read the latest online journal update of a family friend. He’s fighting through his eleventh round of chemo because of a rare and aggressive cancer. Although he faces discouragement, he has a heightened awareness of God’s daily blessings in his life. He finds strength in the love of people and in the awesomeness of nature and in an intimate walk with his Maker.
There are two responses to suffering. One is anger and hopelessness. We can cite suffering as proof that life is cruel and futile. We can throw up our arms and curse our fate and declare that everything is meaningless. The second response is opposite. We can look at suffering and draw encouragement. There is purpose behind everything. Despite the pain and darkness of this world, there is joy and love. Humanity goes on through it all. As things get worse and worse, we can let go of our feeble attempts at control and rely wholly on the God who promises to take care of us. If we didn’t feel pain, would we ever recognize beauty?
Time is fleeting. Life is a gift intended to be used til it is worn out and breaks.