Autumn, Preparing for the Next Season
As I look out my window typing this article, I can see the leaves are changing colors and I have my window open because the air is crisp and cooler. I love this time of year, and I enjoy the warm foods that come with this season. I enjoy homemade soup, chili, and even cocoa. As the season changes, I change my décor to look like fall. I have pumpkins and mums outside and indoors I decorate with festive fall colors. I also reorder my closet to bring out my coats and sweaters, and put away my shorts and summer tops. I pull out my boots and put away my summer flip flops. You can say I am preparing for the next season.
Now parallel how we get ready for a physical change in a season, we need to prepare for a spiritual change in seasons as well. Just as the seasons change and we get summer, fall, winter, and spring, our spiritual lives go through seasons as well. In Holidays and Holy Nights, Christopher Hill points out that for the Christian who observes the liturgical year, autumn is actually the beginning of the cycle. Each season we go through will represent something different for us. The fall represents change, harvest, and preparation. This spiritual season is parallel to the season of fall. The leaves on the trees are falling making way for new growth in the spring, but will undergo a time of preparation until. Just as our lives are undergoing changes, we should “gather and prepare” now for the time of new growth that will come. The climate also changes, depending where you live of course, but where I live, we have changes in temperature. Right now, it has been rather brisk and the nights have been cold. It is time to make a fire in the fireplace and put on our coasts and sweaters. While changing to the next spiritual season, you may need to spend extra time “bundling up” in the Word and in God’s presence, to prepare you for all that is to come.
How do you know when a spiritual season of change is coming?
1. There is an anticipation. You do not know exactly what, but you sense something will happen.
2. You are spending more time in God’s Word and long to be in His presence, nothing else will do.
3. You have been in a long, “wilderness” season and have prayed and waited for answered prayers and deliverance.
4. You long and yearn for change, yet in your own strength you know it is impossible and would need the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
5. You have been pulled back from your usual activities and friendships, and God has been doing a refining work in you. You are engaged in minimal activities, and are not preoccupied with busyness, because you know God is preparing you for His purposes.
Now is the time to prepare for the harvest, anticipate change, remove “dead’ things from your life, stay connected to God as you transition, and begin speaking life over all your circumstances; even if those things seem inactive or finished. This is the season to write out your vision again, and be convinced once again of God’s calling on your life. Life will come back to those things that have seemed to wither away. See everything in your past as training ground for your next season- your prior ministry endeavors, professional and personal experiences, and even past failures can serve as training. God will use it all!