Janet Chester Bly
Sometimes it seems we here in the mountains of northern Idaho experience the shortest autumn period in the west. A few weeks tops. Yet, fall’s my favorite season. The colors. The sunsets. The crispy, sensory sounds and smells and sights. I could live in the heights of this season forever.
Fall signifies peace to me. If I could order a perfect weather day, it would be…70-ish degrees. The softest of breezes. Streaks and puffs of layered clouds brushing the azure sky. Clean-cut air.
But just like the weather, peace of mind seems to come and go for me and most of those around me. It’s over-turned by . . . Panic. Turmoil. Sleepless nights. Storms of stress. Troubled times.
Yet, over it all, Jesus says, “Keep calm. Don’t panic” (John 14:27).
My present goal? To walk with God every moment without anxiety, free of fear.
My prayer? “Lord, guide me in your way of peace. Help me do the actions that promote peace. . .for myself and others around me.”
One thing I’ve learned over the decades. . .fighting for God’s peace requires courage because . . . .
1) I choose love over hate.
2) I admit sometimes, “I was wrong.”
3) I try to comfort the afflicted.
4) I reach out to hug a prodigal.
5) I try real hard not to become a cynic when confronted with maddening words or outrageous deeds.
6) I’m on the watch for what God’s doing in my world, above and beyond the salacious, the distracting and diversionary, as well as the evil stuff.
7) When I hear heart-stopping news, I try to remember to ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” rather than “How did this mess happen?”
I’m training myself. . .not to freak out about the future. To grab hold of God’s big picture plan…the one that brims with promise of the abundance of good blessings, with compassion to all who reach out to him, and the forever peace of the life to come.
Autumn’s a transition period, an evolving stage. So is my life. So is yours. Remember that the next time leaves begin to turn and twist and fall.