There are so many things I love about this time of year – the weather, the trees, the crisp days and scarves. I just love it all. One of the things I have been embracing this fall is my deep-rooted desire to organize. This organizing, structured side to myself is always around, but I don’t think I usually let it step up as much as it has lately. I am sure one big reason for this is that I realize it is a healthy response to the upheaval of the world around me. My life feels so uncertain and small when I consider all of the unknowns of which we are collectively wrestling. I long for order more than normalcy. I want meaning and a place for everything. Yet, we are living at a time that is apparently about disregarding what was once commonplace, unpacking our assumptions, and rebuilding with the new understandings we develop. This is hard work. It seems like so much is calling for our work all at once, but this is the way of life. Just as the leaves cannot cling to their branches forever, we must accept that our world is the way it is now, make adjustments, and keep moving forward.
This may look different for each of us. As I mentioned above, it has meant for me a look at all of the physical spaces that need organizing, like my pantry, and doing the work to utilize the space efficiently. This is practical, tangible work I can do to bring order to a world that feels like it is caught in a perpetual whirlwind of warnings and changes. For others, it may mean spending time with your actions long enough to consider the feelings that evoked a particular behavior. Or perhaps, you may be someone who simply needs to look at their day and create space for quiet contemplation, alone. Whatever coping mechanisms we may find, be aware that this is your body’s way of taking care of you, helping to shape something from nothing so that you can continue on, even in uncertain times. If you are aware that some of this coping may involve practices that harm rather than benefit your livelihood or that of another person, accept the awareness as another gift from your body to help you and find someone you trust to walk alongside you toward a healthy response.
No matter what we may feel in the face of a pandemic, election cycle, upcoming holidays, and another new year, our God remains the same. Our Creator God had a hand in the most mundane, microscopic details of the universe and the greatest, most majestically mind-blowing concepts we have yet to conceive. God’s unceasing love flows through it all, its current pulling us in with our every breath. Accept, adjust, and move forward in the flow of God’s love.
Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us by the hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 (NRSV)
Let us pray...
God, accepting, adjusting, and moving forward are so much easier said than done. Hold us by the hand and make our way straight. Fill our hearts with your love, our minds with your wisdom, and our actions with your justice. Help us do what we need to do to take care of ourselves in the midst of a chaotic world. Let us rest in faith that you will bring order from chaos as you have from the beginning of time. Amen.