Focus On Fall: Part Two

Last week, we began a two part series dealing with the issue of how to better connect with God in the fall, how to better sense His presence. We started by discussing that fall is not only a time of plants dying and going dormant, but also a time of harvest. It is a time of completion. We will continue to delve into this topic this week.

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After the harvest, the Bible almost always refers to a time of celebration but more importantly a time of rhythm and rest. I know that for teachers reading this, that message does not resonate. Summer is their time to rest and recover from the frenzy of the school year. However, for many people, summer is a time of constant movement. Life picks up speed in the summer and the rhythm of life that we found over the last 8 months is completely thrown off. There are always things to do and places to go. There are family reunions, weddings, vacations (that always seem to be more tiring that relaxing), and graduation parties. There is grass to mow, hedges to trim, and flowerbeds to keep.  

Fall is a time to slow down. The work and busyness of summer is over. Life goes back to a steady rhythm. Although this can seem monotonous, it can also be peaceful. Our lives need rhythm and consistency. Within that consistency, we can find time to rest. Within that rhythm and consistency, we can plan for more meaningful time spent with God. Connection with God in the fall continues with focusing on rhythm and rest.

Fall is also a time of great beauty. Although it is true that many of the vibrant colors of spring and summer, the bright flowers and lush green grasses, fade into gray and brown, there is also amazing beauty to be found in the oranges, reds and yellows that many of those greens become. 

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Although the trees no longer have leaves, there is great wisdom to be found in admiring the limbs underneath; to marvel at the architectural design that creates so much strength in the tree. It is amazing to sense God’s handiwork in the survival mechanism that is built into the trees in losing leaves for the winter. How awesome is it to pick up a leaf and notice that it’s veins follow a design seen throughout nature. That design is seen in our own bodies, larger arteries feeding arterioles and then tiny capillary beds. Yes, focusing on finding beauty in nature, is another way to connect to God and sense His presence in the fall.

So, maybe you live for the fall and putting on sweaters and going on hay rides and sipping hot apple cider.  Or maybe you’re more like me, and fall can be a time of foreboding and depression. Either way, by fixing our eyes and focusing on finding God’s presence and handiwork in the fall, we can all come in closer communion with Him.


Prayer for this week: God, I thank you and praise you for the beauty that is found in all aspects of your creation. Thank you for the marvelous design to be found in the seasons and in flora and fauna’s response to that design. Thank you for the rest and rhythm that we can find in the fall. Help us to use this time to draw closer to you.



Focus On Fall: Part One

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As September slips quietly into October, it seems appropriate to sit back and reflect a bit on fall. Recently, with the pumpkin spice craze and all, fall has kind of had a nice comeback in regards to popularity. However, in my own life, I always feel a bit anxious and generally down in the fall. Although the cooler temperatures do provide some relief from the heat of summer, they also signal that winter is right around the corner. And here in Northeast Ohio, it seems winter can be anywhere from a couple months to a couple years long. Things are dying or going dormant, green fades to gray and brown, and skies are overcast and dismal. It can be a bit depressing I guess. It’s just always been way easier for me to feel God’s presence and connection in the springtime than the fall.


First of all, there’s Easter obviously. Coming right at the tail end of winter, it usually signals that warmer weather and sunshine will soon be on their way.  Then there’s the new growth of leaves on the trees. Things that were dead or dormant are returning to life and springing up from the ground. The connections to Christianity and the story of Christ are obvious and provide an easy way to feel His presence in His creation and what is happening in nature. Yes, for me at least, I am much more easily able to sense God in the spring.


So, how are some ways that we can fix our eyes to focus on seeing God and connecting with him in the fall? Aside from a trip everyday to Starbucks for that PSL, how can we redeem fall to be a time of growth and deep connection to God’s presence and work in our world? First, it is important to remember that fall is not just a time of plants dying and going dormant for winter, it is also a time of harvest. It is essential to understand that our God is a God of completion. He finishes what He starts. This includes nature and plants. What began in the spring as a seed in the ground is fulfilled in the fall as a harvest. Fall is a time of completion.

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There are many times that Jesus spoke in parables, or object lessons, using agricultural imagery as a medium for His message.  He spoke of the fields being white for harvest (John 4:35-38) and of the seed that fell on good ground springing forth and producing a hundred more (Matthew 13). Almost every one of the Old Testament prophets references planting seeds and harvesting. This idea of harvest and completion is a theme that is evident throughout scripture. Connection with God in the fall begins with focusing on the harvest.


Prayer for the week: God. Thank you for allowing me the honor of being a worker in your harvest. Thank you for being a God of completion who will finish what He started in my life. Thank you for the seeds you have planted in my heart and I pray that in due time you will be able to bring in the full harvest of the fruits of my life.

Written by Erik Steidl