When I was growing up in farm country in the northwest, Labor Day always marked two things: the start of the school year and the coming of the county fair. One I wasn’t so thrilled about, the other was an exciting event.
As the long, hot days of summer began to shorten and cool, the crisp morning air sounded the alarm that things were about to change – again. My long work days in the harvest fields were finished, and I would be getting back to the daily routine of classes and homework, friends and social events.
As one who likes – no, really loves – change, the transition from one season to the next invigorates me and keeps me focused on what lies ahead, encourages me to lift my eyes to the horizon and imagine what can be.
In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul paints a picture of this as he describes his journey to know Christ, to be “found in Him” and to be united with Him. In this context, he writes: “13But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Does the change of seasons marked by Labor Day inspire you to look up, forget the past and press on toward the goal? If you’re in Christian camping, does the change from summer camp to fall conference and retreat season push you in this direction?
On this day, pause and look up. You’ll see beauty on the horizon. You’ll see tree tops and an expansive sky – things that point you to the Creator and the future – not just cracks in the sidewalk and the pebbles under your feet. I think this change in perspective might even be a strong antidote to burn out. I know it is for me.
As you breathe in the change of the seasons, remember – God is at work in you, in the world and in the process of change. Think about where you’re going next and remember the calling that brought you here in the first place.