The Monarchs, too, make portions of our garden their summer home but only long enough to morph into a new creature and migrate to their new South of the Border home.
Our field crops, which started as minute seeds in the chill of the spring, irrigated and nurtured through the sweltering heat of the July sun now stand tall and ready for the fall harvest. The combine clips the crops and runs the harvest through the auger filling the grain truck; we are blessed in the harvest. The cycle is complete.
Change surrounds us.
My six year old and I are reading E.B White’s beloved novel Charlotte’s Web (I refuse to categorize it as a children’s novel because this grown up girl loves the book). For the sake of his young readers (and the grown up ones too), White weaves with words a delicate explanation regarding the passing of time. The passing of time often brings about change and change requires a measure of letting go.
The novel details the passing from one season to another. The letting go of summer brings about a sad change for the crickets on Zuckerman’s Pennsylvania farm. The crickets croon their somber melody because the season of warmth and sunshine is ending; they dread the change, as do most of us, especially children:
“The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad, monotonous song. ‘Summer is over and gone,’ they sang. ‘Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying’.
“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year—the days when summer is changing into fall—-the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.”
Change and letting go ought to come as no surprise to me as a follower of Christ. The moment I yielded to Christ I changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18). Even so, I still treat change as an uninvited guest who shows up on my porch when my house looks like Hurricane Ida swept through, and I haven’t a clue what I am having for dinner (do I even have enough clean plates?).
By now, as a follower of Christ when I feel change coming about, I ought to belt out a tune of worship rather than one of melancholy. My tune ought to sound something like this:
There are moments when I am still letting go of the children that I never had the chance to embrace. Miscarriage has its own set of rules for letting go. It’s a gut-wrenching, savage-like pain that wraps its tendrils around the heart and tries to suffocate any chance of hope. For me, the letting go of despair and anguish took the passing of several seasons before I realized Jesus knew how badly it hurt. The Son of God when near death asked His Father, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Finally, late one fall a time came when I no longer felt like I was falling from a cliff into the abyss, but I found myself falling into the arms of God. Gradually I rappelled back to solid ground where I could once again lift up holy hand and worship the One, True God.
“If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily “ours” but only ours to offer back to him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of, if we want to be our true selves.
“If God gave it to me,” we say, “its mine. I can do what I want with it.” No. The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of – if we want to find our true selves, if we want real life, if our hearts are set on glory.” Elisabeth Elliot
Autumn will end and the snow will dust the bleak fields. The barren, frozen pasture will be an unwelcome sight to my sheep. Temperatures will drop and the water in the troughs will freeze. We all wait for spring. Each season brings a new perspective and new growth in the life of a Christian. Fall brought a letting go, and with that came a sense of freedom in knowing that Jesus has it all in control.