The Setting Sun

We crossed the Audubon Bridge at sunset and as darkness fell, the flames atop the sugar cane shone brightly. No metaphor for the brevity of human life is more prominent than the rising and setting of the sun.

We do well to ponder Paul’s words to the Corinthians regarding ministry to the saints as we consider what we have done with the days the Lord has given us. Have I redeemed the time by using my talents, by blessing others with my gifts, by making the most of every opportunity? Have I consulted God to determine my steps or have I determined my own course?

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” - Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), Jas 4:13–15.

Alister Begg has said, “One of the distinguishing marks of the Christian, of a Christian worldview, is to be found in the way in which he or she views the passing of time and the ordering of the events of life.” With this in mind and with each passing year, I find myself spending many days in November and December living and moving forward yet reflecting back. Today, I am sharing a past blog post.

The Flip of the Calendar

Pumpkins, gourds, and autumn foliage colored my recent days with thoughts of past generations. And, as my calendar flips from October to November, I reminisce this morning of holidays past. Thoughts of seasons filled with cinnamon-infused cider, bowls dredged in flour, wooden spoons dripping in corn syrup, and butter-smeared glass cups conjure family memories worthy of recall. A seemingly universal state, bittersweet nostalgia peaks as it connects the past with our present.

Holidays spent with loved ones now gone have been replaced with the tangible: Mom’s recipe of sage-sprinkled cornbread dressing, a carnival glass platter, and my mother-in-law’s famous pecan pie. Holiday gatherings are centered around relationships and whether healing or piercing, the longing becomes a psychological substitute for the physical.

My intentionality is heightened on the days falling between the turkey and the ham. It’s not about giving less, doing less, that we take time to relax over pie and coffee in front of a warm fire. It’s about adding depth and meaning to this special time of the year. It’s about making good memories and adding new traditions before reaching those quintessential moments around the table or the tree. Intentionality means filling days with purposeful words and deeds and weaving them into legacy as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Truth is, it’s more than the flip of the calendar or autumn’s colors that determines our seasons. All seasons come to us, not by chance but by God’s power, and we illustrate our faith by each encounter. A shallow life leaves details to fate and yet, when we walk our life deliberately, our legacy has God-given potential. His handiwork in seasons past reveals his consistent character, providing hope for the seasons yet to come. So I must consider the legacy I will leave. And in that legacy, am I defining my faith and making life choices reflecting those values?

What we choose to do with our gift of days matters. May God find me using my days wisely with each flip of the calendar.

So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. – Ps. 90:12 NASB

 

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