I come home from days of meetings in the summer, and often want to go do a little local climbing, or walk around the lake by my house. But up here in our relatively northern part of the world, where darkness comes very early these days, I come home and, by the time we’re eating supper, all my wife and I want to do is linger at the table, with candlelight and wine, or freshly brewed tea, conversation, even silence. The season does more than grant permission to rest; it invites rest.
I’m writing this morning before the domestic to-do list takes over: some financial stuff, some e-mails that need to be answered, some travel plans for a trip to visit my 90-year-old mom in California. But nature shouts “don’t miss me,” cries “learn from my rhythm,” and I know that, after writing this, and eating a quick breakfast, I’ll hop on my bike and ride down to the Japanese Garden, or over to Discovery Park, camera in tow, and sit with creation.
Sometimes encounters just change us, and it’s enough to let ourselves be changed. That’s why the most important thing in life isn’t that we’re able to draw a straight line between every encounter with a Bible verse, or sunset, or work of art, or loss, or love — and lesson learned. We might not be able to articulate the moral to the story. That’s OK. More important than the moral of the story, is the learning to simply show up and pay attention. Fall is screaming at us: “Slow down. Rest. Pay attention!”
If we can’t pay attention to the rhythms of creation in these October days, at least in my part of the world, there’s something tragically wrong with our souls. Jesus calls those who can see “blessed.” Be blessed today friend… by paying attention to God’s invitation.