Sunday, October 17, 2010

Experiencing Change and Constancy Together

Have you noticed?  Change is happening.  I can smell it, see it, hear it, feel it, with all my senses.  First, change in nature.  Autumn just smells different than other seasons -- the smell of that first fall rain, the last blossoms of summer flowers, the hint of burning leaves, new aromas float from the kitchen as we cook more soups and stews and less of summer fare.  I often close my eyes in autumn so that when I open them I'm startled at the cacophony of colors surrounding me -- greens still hanging on, slightly turning into golds, oranges, browns, and the crisp blue of the sky overhead and the sun blazing its golden rays.  Such beauty, such an artful palette of colors only He can create and bring together in such boldness.

And then come my ears saying, "Hear that?"  Can you hear it?  Sounds are different as the seasons change.  In autumn, the train that runs nearby has seems a little farther away as its whistle blows.  There are the sounds of children walking or running on fallen leaves to their bus stops in the morning.  The of yard cleanup readying hearth and home for winter also filter through the crisp, fall air.  And the squirrels and birds begin their chatter of winter preparation -- packing away foods and building nests to protect their young.  Such a story is hidden in the sounds of autumn and every other season that only God could have written it so that all the pieces fall into such elegant place to turn, turn, turn when it’s time.

Experiencing the change of autumn -- whatever do you mean you may ask.  For me, experiential is a feeling that grows from within me as the elements of my world move around me.  So, experiencing autumn is the culmination of everything God has put in place to allow me to worship during another season in this wonderful chapel we call earth and our home.  It's the feeling of a grand plan created by and executed by our Heavenly Father for each of us to enjoy from the smallest to the largest, the youngest to the oldest, the poorest to the richest. 

Other changes I perceive in autumn are the ones that I'm going through.  I'm almost at the end of my 64th year, and I know that life is changing.  My joints aren't as supple as they once were.  Gray hair near my temples reminds me of my father's hairline as he aged.  I'm told by others I have hardly any wrinkles at all; they must need glasses for I can see them.  Most displeasing of all is the fact that I cannot accomplish in one day what I could when I was 30!  In God's plan, yes, I'm changing too.

During all this change, I move to the comfort of words that remind me God is not changing, but constant in everything and for everyone. In Romans 15:3, we are told that "'[He] took on the troubles of the troubled," is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it's written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us . . . '."  (The Message).

So, won’t you open your eyes and ears not only to the changes going on around you in nature, in your life, in our world, but also to the constancy and dependability of our God?