In the Bits and Pieces column of our AARP newsletter is an article that hints of the changes we experience in life — regardless of age:
- Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower [Albert Camus]
- Life is short! Be swift to love. Make haste to be kind. [Henri Amiel]
- You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with a new idea. [John Newton]
Stepping outside at 6 a.m. to walk Cassie, our 14 year old pug on this Autumn morning, I feel an invigorating coolness in the air. Even Cassie is livelier with this serious and refreshing dip in temperatures. She is energized.
These cool mornings are signaling a change from the sweltering and torrid weather of summer in Clarksville, one of the most simmering in this area’s recorded history, to a more refreshing and comfortable clime.
This seasonal change typifies our spiritual lives and reminds us that there are seasons and passages and times when things fall away, awaiting the new. Reinforcing this idea the psalmist states: “[the righteous] are the trees planted by streams of water…”
Our trees, our fall reminds us that everything undergoes changes. No living creation stays exactly the same season after season. From season to season our theology, our lives,and our relationships change. often, as we mature, our concepts of God and our spiritual understanding changes.
At one time, I thought that attending church every time the doors were open was a prerequisite to to a vital relationship with the Lord. On my spiritual journey of over five decades, I chose to believe this as a necessary practice for salvation. This concept, though helpful for some, is no longeroperational in my values. I’ve changed, without guilt or fear.
Recitation of the Apostle’s Creed and other creeds are integrated into our religious expression. the declarations on creeds are reassuring; however, we often quietly confess that our understanding of these tenets are no longer as comforting because our beliefs have changed. Some of our dynamic denominations avoid ascribing to creed statements as to what a person believes.
Our relationship changes with the seasons of life as well. Friends for over 50 years become estranged. At times political differences lead to alienation even between the oldest and best of friends. The relationship we call marriage undergoes change over time, as do our bodies and our mental acuities.
As a young man, I often heard about married couples, especially ones married for over 30 years, who begin to look alike. This isn’t likely to be the type of change for the majority, though. Instead, as the years pass, our needs and what is significant changes. People, men and women alike, change in myriad ways physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
We become really dynamic and tap into spiritual resources as we learn to accept changes that are, after al, inevitable. With such sensitivity, we are starting on the path of reconciliation with ourselves, our spiritual nature and a new dimension of living.
As we welcome the coolness of these Autumn days, we find the change invigorating. Instead of fearing what is different, feeling that change will harm us, we can instead trust the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us to bring us to bring about love, peace, hope and strength.
It’s normal for our tastes to change. For our views, opinions, and thinking to change is just as conventional. We can change without lingering guilt, fear or apprehension.
A prophet questioned his people by addressing them as follows:
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk with your God.”
Asking ourselves this searing question as each quartet of seasons pass will ease the passage and create beneficial change.