Fall carries some grief with her when she comes.
That surprises me every year. Like an accidental tradition, I become a bit melancholic when I realize that the glorious window of leaves ablaze and brisk-not-cold temperatures is closing. And similar to other seasonal transitions, I tend to look back and wonder whether we chose wisely and maximized our opportunities.
Was I present to the right people and the right things?
Did I spend enough evenings outside on the deck?
Was it actually a good idea to get a cat?
The other morning, I woke more restless than usual. Through prayer and several moments of looking at the ceiling, I noticed that most of what occupied my heart and mind felt super unresolved. From impending work deadlines and the health of our bodies to the election and assuaging toddler fits and year-end travel plans, one question wove them all together:
I don’t know how this is going to work.
It doesn’t seem accurate to call it decision fatigue, because I wasn’t convinced decisions needed to be made that day. But the weight of uncertainty, of the dimness Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13:12, drew me inward–and not in a helpful way.
So it was this unfriendly pairing of looking back with a dose of lament and looking ahead with two doses of uncertainty that triggered an irritable weariness. I’m sure many of you have felt the same this year.
In John 6, Jesus wraps up a sermon about how people must eat His flesh and drink His blood to inherit real life. The disciples say something to the effect of, “This is a hard teaching,” and many stop following Him because it sounds either too nonsensical (I mean, I get that), or too costly, or too uncomfortable.
He then asks His twelve closest friends and ministry apprentices if they’re going to leave, as well. Peter speaks up: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (v. 68–69).
Amidst all the brazenness and fickleness, to whom shall we go?
In the throes of apprehension and depletion, to whom shall we go?
Smack dab in the center of transitions and tensions, to whom shall we go?
We, after all, have come to believe.