Autumn is hard to miss. Spring is a study in false starts. Summer is a sticky realization that you’re always too hot. Winter makes successive night time raids snuffing out autumn’s embers.
But Autumn is hard to miss. Everything in the garden is ready to harvest – right down to the honey. Suddenly the world is full of golden light. Even the raw, dark rainy days are lit from below by the glow of leaves that have stored sunshine all summer to release it all in a final blaze. The world is full of the satisfied bustle of taking stock and taking care of the increase God has given.
It’s about time to take stock of the harvests of our inner lives as well. I am grateful for this cycle of long, contemplative evenings in anticipation of the holiday season.
What have I sown? What am I reaping? What will be the final value of these investments? Where has God intervened when my strength has failed? What ultimately is important? Why will I celebrate?
The cycle of one week is too short for these reckonings. It is too short to appreciate the large-scale work God is doing in us. But the cycle of a year is just enough. Too short to forget the special Providences we have received, but time enough begin to grasp what they mean.
The Church has appreciated the value of reminding us on a yearly basis of the great things God has done on a universal level. Modern evangelicals have largely forgotten the old Church Calendar. (Didn’t that go out with Indulgences?) But it gives Christians a joyful and disciplined way to remember, to reflect and to revive in hope and strength.
It’s about time we re-discovered time. It really is on our side.
Next time: Re-discovering the Church Calendar