Sunday, August 24, 2008

Changing of the Seasons

It seems that the changing of seasons has been at the forefront around our lives lately. Of course it's the end of summer, with Labor Day coming up this weekend, and the beginning of the transition from summer to fall. Can't say I will miss the heat and humidity. But the real indicator of changing seasons at our house has been the two youngest of the clan going back to school. Matt the 15 year old starting his freshman year of high school. And all the activities that go with that like marching band practices every morning at 6:30 and football games and the like. Oh, and Matt started a new season of his life this week by passing the test to get his driving learner's permit. We went out yesterday for his first time on the road. The fact that I'm alive to type this says he did OK.

6th grader Hannah also started school again at Columbus Christian, and wife Tammie is back at her admin job there in full swing again as well. In a way it's nice to have some structure back in our lives after what seems to have been a hectic summer.

Another big season change indicator will happen this Saturday, when oldest son Mike leaves for his semester at IBEX in Israel. This will be a big change for him after his summer interning here in Columbus at our church. (Check out his newsletter article on this here.) I'm looking forward to hearing about his experiences studying in Jerusalem and all over the holy land. This will be a time that Mike won't soon forget.

Speaking of our church, a big change of seasons occurred today as we said goodbye to our senior pastor of 14 years. Pastor Mike is leaving to follow the call of God taking him to pastor another church about 70 miles away. It was a time of remembering and laughs, and tears and separation. He will be sorely missed, but I'm excited about what God has in store for us in this next season of ministry.

I'm also taking a season off from teaching at the local rescue mission. I've been doing the same class with the disciples there for four or five years now and feel like I need a bit of a break to keep from getting stale. And one of the guys at the mission, Chris, is stepping up to teach for a while. It will be great experience for him, and a needed respite for me.

My bicycling season is coming to an end as well. I did manage to pass my goal of 1000 miles this past week, and hopefully will be able to keep putting in miles through at least the end of September. Last weekend I did my longest ride ever, a 70-miler that really felt pretty good. But with all the other stuff going on in the next month I'm not sure I'll fit in a 100-miler like I wanted to. Oh well, there's always next season.

As I've been reflecting on this whole change of seasons theme, it's occurred to me that change is hard. All of us are afraid of change in one form or another. But it also occurs to me that it is through change that God accomplishes His work and purposes. Look at all the changes He took His people Israel through, for their good and His glory. Look at the lives of the prophets and the apostles, marked by seasons of blessing and seasons of suffering. God is a God of change and seasons, always moving us forward to what He has next. My prayer is that we will not be stiff-necked resisters of His sovereignly designed changes of season, but rather embracers of the changes He has for us. In the small as well as the big things in life.

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