We’re based in South Carolina, known for its blazing-hot summers, so we’re stoked that this week has brought the official start of fall.
While temperatures might take a few more weeks to simmer down, a new season is more than welcome. Not only do I get to break out cozy blankets and sip some pumpkin-spiced everything, but there’s football and s’mores, not to mention I get to crank up the fireplace.
I also find myself with a bit more free time on my hands, because thanks to cooler weather, my grass doesn’t grow quite as fast. I don’t have to spend my Saturdays on the mower or trimming back weeds. Nope, I can just wake up, kick up my heels, and do whatever I please. The flowers die off, the leaves fall from the trees, and our house settles into a new rhythm, relaxed and easy.
Of course, come spring, I find myself with a mess to deal with. The lawn is a wreck, and all the stuff I’ve managed to avoid all fall and winter comes back to bite me. It doesn’t seem to appreciate the time off as much as I do.
Reading the Bible today, it hit me that this reminds me a bit of my spiritual life, too. Sometimes I’m in a great season. I’m reading the Bible, going to church weekly, meeting regularly with my small group, listening to Christian radio—all the things that feed my soul and help me stay aligned with God. But then something happens and I fall off track. I miss a week of church, then two. I get behind in my Bible-reading, then realize it’s been weeks since I cracked it. I find I’m increasingly “out of alignment” with God—maybe I’m complaining more, or taking my blessings for granted. I feel bad, and sometimes I behave badly, too.
As soon as I recognize what’s going on, I know just what I need to do: I need to get back on track again, surround myself with Godly influences and habits, and center myself in His holy word.
Over the years, I’ve learned there’s no season too busy or too dark and desperate worth taking a spiritual hiatus. My lawn bounces back after a fall and winter of rest, but my soul hurts when I veer from my Lord.
This fall, I’m eager to jump into a new Bible study with my small group, and my church is getting ready to start a new sermon series. Soon enough, we’ll be in the midst of Advent and then Christmas.
Seasons change, and that’s a good thing. And there’s no harm in taking a break from yard work!
But when it comes to my soul, here are a few of my favorite verses that remind me why staying armored-up with God’s word is critically important:
- Psalm 119:11 CEB, “I keep your word close, in my heart, so that I won’t sin against you.”
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 CEB, “Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.”
- Hebrews 4:12 CEB, “Because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions.”
- Joshua 1:8 CEB, “Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed.”
- And, of course, our coffee company’s special favorite: Ephesians 6:13 CEB, “Therefore, pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand.”
Until next time, stay armored up (and happy fall!).