All around us we can learn a lesson from this glorious season if we but keep our eyes open. The trees are dressed in their most majestic robes, evoking much appreciation from those who watch green become gold and red. Then as if they know on some deep level, that this is simply one stage of their life, the branches surrender their grandeur and open themselves to barrenness. They stand at their most simple–the shell that supports every moment and aspect of their being. What does it take to learn this lesson as a human?
In today’s First Reading from Romans 4 Abraham’s faith required him to hope against hope that what was promised him by God would indeed unfold as it should. I wonder how many times he rested on grace and let all that hindered him drop to the ground in splendor. As I begin to feel more myself, I have been aware that much will be required of me in the months ahead. The magnificence of the adventure I have been on will take on a different stamina, a new humility, and a deeper faith. The surrender of many dreams and hopes has occurred over these past two and a half years. Each letting go has been different–some much easier than others–but I have managed to get to open hands. Now, looking at the exposed trunk to the elements, I know that the trees have much to teach me about grace and peace. To stand in simplicity and to know that each season has a gift is a blessing. May my spirit embrace all that is to come, hoping against hope that God who is ever faithful will bring the ones that are chosen out with joy and singing.
What can this season teach you about hope?
How can you stand vulnerable and exposed to the elements?
Maker of All Things Beautiful, grant that we may rest on your ever-sufficient grace as we face the changes in our life. Help us to see that all around us are signs of your great love and mercy. Amen.