Changing the World One Step at a Time

I think there’s something sacred about autumn; the season of the change. October specifically takes the height of this transformation, from the cold weather to the new ways we adapt to the cold.

Most things in life change when the leaves do: our outfit choices, our choices in coffee – yes I’m talking about pumpkin everything – the things we eat and how we see each other.

We’re not spending our days on the beach having an ice cream cone; we’ve moved indoors to hot apple cider and pumpkin everything.

With the changes in our season we also need to be recognizing our own needs are changing. The summer offers us so much sunlight that we engage more frequently with one another. We’re constantly finding excuses to do something outside, catching up with old friends and finding comfort in the heat of summer.

With a colder season, I know, with myself specifically, that I more frequently find excuses to stay in so that I don’t have to be outside as long.

Fall slows us down; it helps us find our roots to endure winter. In this season, I find that I’m looking back on a lot of memories and trying to be in the moment more to slow myself down. And I think that’s intentional and a shared experience we all have.

I have this picture in my head when I think of the perfect autumn day, and while my personal image may be radically different than yours, I think we both developed a beautiful image.

Autumn has specific scents, a beautiful sight, a comforting feeling: it truly is something unique.

Realizing that we’re slowing down can be both an invitation to new goals and a time to reflect on the past. Whatever path we decide on, autumn can be an invitation to bring us back to our center with God.

The Prayer for Autumn Days has been a source of reflection for me and a prayer that I’m hoping we can pass along in our community. I’ll include it at the end of this column.

I’m also asking the Gannon community to also support the TAG to End Ebola campaign. The Ebola Crisis is a serious and pressing issue affecting thousands of Africans in west Africa. This disaster cannot be handled by western African nations alone; we must stand together and contribute to CRS Ambassadors campaign: TAG to End Ebola. The Ambassadors will be in the Waldron Campus Center every day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. until Friday.

 

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.

 

JARED SCHAAF

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