We’re fast approaching the threshold of completing the third quarter of the year, and what changes 2009 so far has brought to many of our lives, even in our relatively sheltered Canadian context! Our experiences differ as do our faces. Economic hardship and loss of jobs or reduced employment knocked on many a door bringing uncertainty and stress. Chilling winds blew in spring and summer for some folk in the unwelcome visitation of illness, and in certain family circles, the icy finger of death.
Myriad families recently farewelled their young adult sophomores and freshmen heading off to higher educational institutions - often further afield, drawing a tear and leaving an ache in many a mother’s heart. Some couples entertained the spark of a renewed freedom as they anticipated their first empty nest experience in twenty or more years.
There will be those whose review at the year’s three-quarter mark registers overall gains in life. We certainly rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Those who suffered loss, and yet maintain their trust in the faithfulness of God and the redemption provided through Christ, find comfort in knowing they have a wealth factor that transcends their present hardship.
Uncertain weather abounded. Our local cemetery decoration day service was besieged by an overcast sky and a bone-chilling wind from the northwest, despite which the musicians did an admirable job (I was amazed that they could even move their fingers). Yours Truly shivered and shook from the cold. However, my mental marbles and mouth moved sufficiently in sync for me to share the homily - despite chill-tightened jaw muscles. Then naughty Nature capped her trick an hour or so later after we’d all gone home, when the wind dropped, and early evening saw the clouds move out and a cheery sun peek a sassy wink at us all!
A verse I quoted at that service (Psalm 90:12): Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Let us value our days and make them count. May we give honour where due and encourage respect for others. And let us give thanks for the mercy and grace of God, while embracing His Son, our Saviour, Redeemer, and Friend.
Words to Bless: May the falling leaves of autumn around you and their musical swish beneath your feet be gentle reminders that even when the summertime of life begins drawing to a close, you can still gladden hearts by the rustle of a life well-lived while in the sun.Peter Black writes a weekly inspirational column in the Watford Guide-Advocate.
His book, "Parables from the Pond" ("written for children, read and enjoyed by all ages") is published by Word Alive Press. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.freewebs.com/authorpeterablack