I love autumn.
Summer is so bright and intense, I wake up feeling obligated to go somewhere and do something. People are always asking, “What are your plans for the summer?”. There is pressure to have an exciting destination in your back pocket. The truth is I just want to eat lots of peaches, watch some good summer flicks and hang out at the beach in my flip flops.
Fall is more my style. It gets darker sooner and everything slows down. It’s the perfect time to be outside too, if you ask me. Take hiking. There’s a lot less dust and quieter, except for the sound of a crunchy trail blanketed with falling leaves. It’s hard to beat.
I wish I felt the same about my worries. All those things I juggle around in my head, I wish they could take a collective sigh, right along with nature.
It’s those plates I keep spinning. They wear on my heart and keep my soul busy.
If only I can shed them the way the trees shed their leaves. If only I could let one fall.
We weren’t originally designed to keep everything in play all the time. Something got broken in us when we left the Garden of Eden. We stopped trusting that God was good and we were the apple of His eye. We have this suspicious feeling about letting go and letting God take us through the natural course of things.
Now, if you were to change the subject and talk about laundry, my problem with letting go dissipates. My husband probably wishes otherwise, but I’m good at not sweating the small stuff. I like to worry about the big problems. I get such a great mental workout from organizing all the unresolved questions and playing out the different scenarios, my memory’s practically guaranteed in old age.
I thought really hard about overhauling this mindset recently. I got tired of keeping up with all the activity, trying to work everything out to its optimal outcome. I noticed I stopped laughing at my own jokes.
Even in matters of faith, especially when it comes to pleasing God, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to live fruitful lives. We forget that fruitfulness comes from allowing God to work in us through our circumstances — not our ability to effectively make everything work out right.
There comes a time when God brings us into a season of autumn. Where there was once fervor and activity, He calls us to let go and slow down. He doesn’t quiet our lives because we’ve done something bad. God does it to release us from the burden of keeping things alive that really should be dying.
It’s hard to give up on my version of endings. When I’m into a really good book that’s got the heroine steep in trouble, I forget about sleep. I plow through to The End and wake up with a crink in my neck. I want the story to turn out the way I want.
It’s in my nature to hold onto my problems, relationships, and ideals so that I can work them out.
Meanwhile, God is not derailed in His commitment or love for me.
There are necessary endings, Bonnie.
Let the plate fall. It needs to break.
Let me take care of you.
Intense pressure may have worked well to achieve a difficult goal. It may even have been necessary if we were thrown headlong into crisis or involuntarily trapped in a stressful relationship. What worked for us earlier, though, can leave us weighed down and overloaded.
God’s idea of a purposeful life is so different from ours. He wants us to trust Him so completely, we would risk letting go and place ourselves willingly in the uncomfortable position of surrender.
When we can trust Him with our endings, we will discover He can carry us. He is good.
We will see the beauty of leaves falling and understand we can experience this beauty in our souls. We learn to recognize the Voice of Love that calls to us behind the shattering of plates falling. We learn that God’s love can sustain us and new seeds of faith will be planted and grow.
“I am Thine, O Lord,
I have heard Thy Voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
and be closer drawn to Thee.”
~ Lyrics to Hymn “I Am Thine, O Lord”
by Fanny Crosby
“…We rely on the love God has for us.
…God is love… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
1 John 4:16-18
Is there a plate you’re spinning that God is saying to let fall?
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