Thinking About...Fall and Rest

I love Fall. The cooling temperatures, blustery days, changing leaves, apple cider, sweaters... Fall is different from Spring with its promises of newness and fresh beginnings and from Summer with its activity, hot sun, and long days. Fall feels like a settling down, a transition towards something more calm. Yet I always seem to find that Fall still remains as full and busy as other seasons. Yes, the weather may make me want to cozy up by a fire with a book and a warm cup of tea, but it doesnʼt mean that my life is cozying up and taking a break. The appeal and the hope of Fall lies in the changing season that will lead to feeling settled, feeling established, feeling that life will be normal and easy.

Donʼt get me wrong, I love a full life--lots of people and lots of activity--but I am becoming increasingly aware of my need and desire for rest. Rest that is both physical and, more importantly, spiritual. In this awareness of my need and craving for rest, I have started to see how I have made this very good, God-given rest, into a functional god. I think, “Once the Fall schedule calms down, Iʼll have time to really pray and have time with God” or “If I just have order, I will have space and can really tend to the important things in life.” I want to make my life, even my faith, about the what--my schedule, circumstances, stuff, activity--and not about the who--namely Jesus. I need to turn from my powerless god of schedule and circumstances to the one true God who is powerful and life-giving.

In these times, I am thankful that God does not force me to come to these conclusions on my own. He uses his Spirit and his people to point me back to the truth. This weekend, the women of City Church will have the opportunity to hear from a friend who faithfully points many people (including me) back to the truth and tells the truth about who God really is. Paige Brown will be helping us to study the story of Elijah in the book of I Kings. In a few short chapters, Elijah experiences the “highs” and “lows” of faith--the joyful assurance of following God and the discouragement of doubts, loneliness, and fear. I hope that women will be encouraged as they hear the truth that God is our help, our comfort, and our rest.

I am looking forward to a time like this--a time to be reminded who my life if really all about--not myself, but Jesus. I know that Augustine was right when he wrote that our hearts are restless until they find rest in Jesus. And so why do I love Fall? Because this is what my heart longs for--the settled rest and comfort that comes only in Jesus Christ.

Paige Brown will share her thoughts on Elijah with the women of City Church on Saturday, September 29th from 9am to noon at All Saints Presbyterian Church (3000 Grove Avenue). Admission is free, and coffee and a light breakfast will be provided. Register here.