Can I be real with you?
I’ve been tasked with writing a blog about fall. But I don’t like fall. Change of seasons, for me, equates with season of change. I have a bad habit of being afraid of the future, as maybe some of you do too. So, the visual reminder of the approaching fall just serves to remind me of a coming end, a coming change, and a reflexive expectation for the proverbial shoe to drop.
I don’t care about pumpkin coffee or pumpkin cheerios. I don’t care about fuzzy socks and warm sweaters. I don’t want fall decorations reminding me fall is around the corner. I don’t want fall to come. (But I’m also the one who doesn’t get excited to ring in the new year. Change. Terrifying. I’d rather go to bed.)
There is a whole army of folks out there who are passionate about all things pumpkin spice! And it feels like a personal affront to them when I share my unpopular viewpoint on this time of year.
Let me explain. The way I see it, winter changing into spring is hopeful and spring changing into summer is wonderful. All these changes signal newness and beginnings. But fall, ugh. Leaves dying and falling. Naked trees and dark days. It screams ending.
Winter arrogantly saunters in, bleak and dark. Each day, the light fades more quickly. Almost imperceptible, hope transitions to angst, and melancholy hums dully in my heart. With my backpack of low expectations tightly strapped on, I obediently climb down into the recognizable Pit of Fearing the Future.
Where are you in this bleak, Pit Thinking? Can you relate? Maybe your pit thinking isn’t triggered by apple cider and fall festivals. Maybe your pit thinking is triggered by something like loneliness or worrying about a child or spouse. But we all have things that can plunge us into the pit mindset. The one we thought we’d navigated around for the final time.
But wait! If I’m looking for God everywhere, I must look right here, in this approaching change that I dread. It’s urgent to bring my eyes up to Him and remember. Remember all He has brought me through. Remember that it’s safe for me to trust Him and believe Him. Remember that He has dealt bountifully with me (Ps 116: 7).
I remember a time when my daughters and I were waiting for a storm to pass. Except my youngest daughter wasn’t waiting for it to pass. She was waiting for it to morph into something bigger, something out of control… a tornado. She was terrified. As I tried assuring her, “It’s okay. There’s no tornado,” she instantly verbalized where she was.
“I love you, Mommy, but I don’t trust you right now!”
Isn’t that what I’m saying to my Father in heaven when I don’t trust Him for The Next Season? Aren’t I waiting for some big, out of control storm to form and drop out of the sky into my life?
Did you know the word translated as ‘repent’ in the New Testament is actually the Greek word metanoia and it means “change of mind.”
When John the Baptist cried out in the desert, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near,” he was telling us to change the way we think, because Jesus is near.
Because of Jesus, we get to change our minds about God and His intentions for His sons and daughters. Remind ourselves and remember all His Goodness. He intends for us to be Glory Bearers. He is for us, not against us.
When I change my mind…how I’m thinking and what I’m expecting, then I can get excited about this coming change. My spirit is buoyed that my tender Abba Father has met me again in this ordinary moment of reflexive fear and helped me change my mind about it. And this is an exercise I’ll likely have to perform over and over.
I still won’t be participating in the pumpkin coffee. But maybe I’ll get some fall flowers and participate in the Joy of looking for the Next New Season.