Shorter Days, Longer Sleeves

While many locales here in the U.S. mark the coming of autumn by the appearance of the seasonal pumpkin spice latte on the menu of their local coffee shop, I’m invigorated by the more natural occurrences: dewy mornings, shorter days, chilly nights, flaming leaves, and thunderous storms.

The summer sunshine and heat provided a welcome break from our usual activities, but the sun is gradually leaving us behind here in Michigan. Kids are back in school, work routines are back to normal, and longer sleeves are making their appearance.

United States voters will soon be faced with a choice—for our new President—that seems unprecedented in its polarizing nature. Who should I vote for? Which is the lesser of two evils? How can you support him? How can you support her? How can I support either? Is an abstention actually a vote? What would Jesus do? Please God, tell me what Jesus would do!

There’s at least one thing we know that He wouldn’t do, because He already told us not to do it! Jesus would not worry. (Easier said than done, right?) I’m remembering His exhortation—How much more valuable am I than a bird of the air?—as I consider the challenges in store for all of us in the months ahead.

Here is what I’m looking to do this autumn to maintain a hope-filled perspective:

  1. Pray and abide. God’s got a plan for me, and I want to soak it (and Him) in, accepting the anticipated and welcoming the surprise.
  2. Pace my daily activity. I want to invite the Lord to order my days. When I expect His participation, I’m always fulfilled by the appointments He makes for me…even when I can’t make the appointments I’ve already scheduled!
  3. Prioritize and focus. God’s Holy Spirit will shine a spotlight on what’s important. There’s rarely enough time to finish everything on the list, so I need Him to illuminate the necessities.
  4. Have patience. The long view allows me to trust in the Lord and resist attempting to control the uncontrollable. When my timing differs from the Lord’s, it’s His schedule that I want to follow.
  5. Practice humility. Sometimes I feel stuck on C.S. Lewis’ first step (as he outlined in Mere Christianity): realizing that I am proud. This “biggish step” must be taken before anything else can be done in this area. I don’t really want to be thinking about humility at all, I just want to not be thinking about myself.
  6. Rest in God’s peace. Mind, soul, body, family, home—these are the spaces and places where I want to rest. This will happen more easily when I can increasingly believe and receive His love for me, and abide there with Him.

Jesus, our Prince of Peace, offers a shalom that will benefit us, our families, our communities, and our nations. Whoever becomes the next President of the United States—or of Namibia, Indonesia, or Moldova—His peace will remain unshakeable.

So take the world—along with your decaf skinny no-whip pumpkin spice latte—but give me Jesus!

 

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