Monday, October 01, 2007

How I Spent My Summer

As summer gives way and fall blows its crisp breath on my life, I always look back on the season and wonder if I used it well. Something about the childhood days of summer vacation has never released its hold on my perspective and so I am determined not to waste the warmth and sunshine. Michigan is greedy with such gentle days.
No longer do I count the minutes floating in my backyard pool or evenings gathering fireflies. Now I collect mornings in front of open windows with strong coffee in my mug and not having to shovel snow off of my car before work. And I also measure my seasons in more eternal ways. This summer of my fortieth year will not come again. How am I now better? Did I not only feel but express love more than in summer number 39? Do I understand my redemption in deeper places? Does my faith hold me strongly enough to cast my eyes toward eternity with longing instead of history with mourning?
In the school days we would settle in to write the essay, "What I Did During Summer Vacation." We should all mark the passing seasons with such an examination.
Yesterday I wrote this essay on my heart. More accurately, the Holy Spirit gave me the answer to the question..."What I Learned During The Summer Season."
We, the Mr. and myself, were turning left at a local intersection having just gotten a Starbuck's coffee in celebration of the cool Autumn day. We had been chatting during our errands about this and that. Muddling through trying to understand people we love and worry about. I heard myself say this, "What we want and what we do does not always line up."
I thought myself in that instant rather clever and profound. That thought had never occurred to me before and there it was, spoken out loud as though I had been in the desert fasting for forty days seeking wisdom.
And the Mr. replied with equal insight, "Wow, yeah."
Before you rush to reserve your seat at my next seminar, let me assure you I've passed enough seasons to know this was the Lord and not my own brilliance shining forth.
This is what I learned during my summer season. Be gentle. Stop trying to figure out the heart of man, it doesn't make sense. Give grace beyond reason to people whose actions contradict their words. Don't demand shame and humiliation to win mercy.
If our actions always expressed our hearts, I would not be 12 pounds heavier this summer than last.
My house would not be messy and my yard would be an English Garden.
I would have spent hours with my grandmothers and not moments on the fly.
I would be deeply submerged into the study of the Word and have spent those summer mornings on my knees and not in front of that open window.
And so on.
Let me walk into the next season with a hand full of second and third and thousandth chances for us all to learn how to discipline our lives to our hearts.
Let me first of all, put my own heart in proper order.

Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.


Trish said...

Sara~ My Mom-in-law [your Aunt Elizabeth]
always said " When we are young
we're so busy with home and raising
our families, we don't have time
to hear from the Lord like we do when we get older."
I have found that to be so true!

Love you lots!!

Louise said...

To grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord is a distinct advantage of getting older. I often wish I had known 30 years ago what I know now. That was not to be and only our Father knows the reasoning. I think it takes age to ripen us and stretch us and strain us in ways we would not have stood for when we were much, much younger. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. It gives much to think about.
Bless you!
Oh, by the way dear girl, I saw you on the telly this morning. While in my oral surgeon's waiting room I glanced up and there you were! What a gift to me to see a face I know on that screen. Had there been others in the room I might have yelled "Hey! I know this lady!"

Mrs. Mac said...

Just when a person attains wisdom is about the same time their children leave home ... but, alas, the children return to visit their home and then listen to the wisdom of their parents. Does this make sense, sara? I say this from personal experience.

KayMac said...

Amen, let me first of all, put my own heart in order!"

Deb said...

why is it that your posts always make me cry?

good stuff here Sara! (as always)

Margie said...

I loved this post!!!

I never understood that scripture but now I do, thank you!