|Image: George Mendoza|
(Labor Day, still a week away, is not the end of warm days nor the actual beginning of fall. Still, in American culture, so many things begin to change as August ends and school begins... Following today's Morning Offering you'll find audio for Nicole Nordeman's beautiful song, "Every Season," sung by Ken Copeland.)
Good morning, good God!
As the sun sets a little sooner every evening,
Labor Day's horizon eclipsing these august days,
I'm wondering, Lord:
why must good times come to an end?
Good times come too seldom, or so it often seems,
and when they do they're here
- and then they're much too quickly gone...
And as wonderful as memories are,
they are, well, memories...
Why, Lord, must good times, good days
come to an end?
Why are memories not enough?
Why is the promise of fall's leaf-filtered beauty
not enough today to help me let go
summer’s warmth and pace and peace?
Of seasons there are four, they say,
but I'm sure I know a hundred seasons more,
just in my life alone:
seasons of peace, seasons of pain;
seasons of sadness, seasons of gain;
seasons of sunlight, seasons of rain;
seasons of comfort, seasons of strain;
seasons of planting, seasons of grain;
seasons of waiting for a season to come
to break the seasons’ chain…
So many seasons, Lord…
And letting go of summer is not easy…
I should be grateful for autumn:
your gentle preparation
of everyone and everything
for the dying that winter will surely bring…
Still, letting go of summer is not easy...
You know the seasons better than I, Lord,
and no season changes
around me or within me
but that you first know
how those changes
will change me...
Be with me, Lord,
in all the seasons of my life
and be with me in between the seasons,
when moving from one to the next
is itself a season to bear…
Help me let go what's slipping away,
slipping from the calendar,
slipping from my nights and days...
Take my offered heart
and open me to all the changes
in the weeks and months ahead…
Make me gentle with the season's change
and with the hearts of those around me,
those whose paths cross mine today...
I offer you my seasoned heart, Lord:
you are the source of all the strength I need
to live this day and every day this week
edging now towards Labor Day
and a season's new beginning...
Be my guide and walk with me, Lord,
through this summer-fall season’s change…
Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer...
And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what's to come
You are autumn...
And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death,
You open doors for life to enter
You are winter...
And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring...
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