Monday, August 17, 2015

Fall

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I love fall. It's my favorite season, although I've never really lived in a place that had much of the kind of fall we're probably thinking of (harvest festivals, leaves changing, crisp air). Still, I've experienced enough of it to know it's my favorite.
Well, I woke up this morning and it just felt like Fall to me. But it's not -- it's still summer. But in my head, there was a crisp chill in the air outside, I would make some hot coffee and sip it while reading, the steam wafting away from my cup into the expectant morning air. Soon the stores would be filled with pumpkin everything and I would enjoy every last piece of it. Harvest, Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much to look forward to and enjoy in Fall.
But it's still summer. An awesome summer. I just went surfing yesterday, skateboarding the day before. Outdoor concerts and beach days abound. My wife has been home for the summer and we've been able to spend a ton of time together with our daughter. It's really been nice. So why would I long for the next season?
Over the years, I've been finding in myself this constant attitude of looking forward to the next thing. While at one job I'm looking for the next on Craigslist. While living in one side of town I'm wondering if another part would be better. When in Carolina I was looking forward to California; now in California I'm dreaming of Carolina. Even while surfing a closed out El Porto I'm wondering if Malibu would be better. Whether or not any of those things has or will change, I'm always thinking of what's next.
This would likely be praised by the masses in today's America. "You're ambitious!" they would say, "Keep climbing!" Gone are the days of buying one house and staying there until you die, or working with one company until retirement. Even staying with one woman your entire life seems more of a lofty ideal than a real possibility to many.
Now I'm not saying there aren't downfalls to the old way of thinking. I know men who hated every day of thirty years at a company, but stuck around for a good, solid retirement. I'm not sure if we're called to that or not, but that's not my point. The reason I'm writing this rather lengthy blog post is that, whenever I feel the sense of farsightedness consuming my vision, I hear a small voice telling me, "Be happy where you're at."
And that voice is usually my wife's. I've written before that my wife grounds me in ways I never thought I needed, and I thank God for her. Without this down-to-earth woman, I'd be a new place every five years, eventually huddled up as a mountain hermit somewhere playing music no one would ever hear and writing words a few might. I would be restless, unsettled, never committing and never seeing the end.
Thank God His provision comes in places you don't expect.
But maybe you don't have a wise wife to whisper such suggestions in your wayward ear. And so I take up this little piece of internet space to tell you what she tells me far too often: Be happy where you are. Life is far too short, they say, to always be looking ahead. The only moment we are given is the one we are in, and so enjoy it and look for God in it. And that should be enough.
 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:16-21

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