To everything  there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV)

Although autumn technically doesn’t begin for another week or so, for all practical purposes summer is over.  Schools are back in session, activities that were paused have resumed, and the temperature has fallen.  Here in Iowa, we are finally getting some very much needed rain, although it is unfortunately too little too late.  Ah, well, there’s always next year.

Spring is the season usually credited with bringing us new life, but really every season offers us the gift of something different.  Autumn feels loaded with potential, and I try to dive into it with fresh resolve and a renewed sense of purpose.  My good intentions usually fall by the wayside, though, as I find myself drawn to introspection.  Being a naturally contemplative person, I look around at everyone else who seems to be moving at a frantic pace, and I wonder if I’m missing something.

Scripture tells us that God has determined a time for everything under heaven.  Although God lives outside time and is not constrained by it, we are creatures for whom time is both friend and enemy.  If you think time moves too quickly, talk to a lonely person for whom every day is another long and empty struggle.  If you think time moves too slowly, talk to someone who has been told he has only weeks to live.  Time can be a cruel taskmaster or a welcome friend.

As we enter this season of our lives, wherever we are in our timeline, we would do well not to become so busy that we cannot hear the voice of God calling us to His purpose.  Instead of trying to fit God into our hectic schedules, will we establish Him as the center of our lives and ask, at least daily, what His plan is for us?  Will we read scripture with a sense of expectation and wonder, and will we become a people of prayer, responding to the God who is always calling us and drawing us to Him?  Will we look, really look, at the world around us and see the people God is putting in our way, people that we are meant to meet and listen to and welcome into God’s family?  Will we be builders of the Kingdom?

What will be our purpose this season?

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