THIS SERIES: LET’S SLOW DOWN & CELEBRATE AUTUMN
Autumn has arrived, the hours of daylight are getting shorter, and time appears to be speeding up as we approach the end of the year. This season can whizz by in a haze of damp, wet weather and dark nights, as we long for the return of the spring, or it can be filled with special moments which nourish the soul. Our lives are filled with little grace-gifts from our Heavenly Father, if we only take time to notice.
And of course, with the Fall comes the start of the headlong rush towards Christmas. Already local shops are displaying their Christmas wares and encouraging us to fix our attention on a season not yet here. I love Christmas, and find some advance planning and preparation really helpful, however, we have to resist the enticement to focus on a future time, at the expense of the present.
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Although it is counter-intuitive, we need to make a deliberate choice to slow down, savour this moment, this day, this season; they will never come round again! Immediately our ‘to do’ lists—mental or written—will clamour for attention, giving a myriad reasons why putting the brakes on is impossible. But perhaps we can, just once a day, slow down and savour the present…
WHY NOT TRY SOME OF THE FOLLOWING...
1. Set off for work early, and enjoy a more leisurely journey. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the blessings which line your route. And then celebrate…
2. Take time to savour meals. Rather than eating on the run, set the table, choose some seasonal foods and really appreciate what you are eating.
3. Use creative inspiration to create moments that are special, with an autumnal flavour.
Enjoy curling up with a good book? Why not make real hot chocolate to enhance the experience? Going for a walk? Pack some gingerbread and a hot spiced drink. Trying out your autumn wardrobe? Make it a private fashion show with a favourite drink and nibbles!
4. Collect the ‘treasures’ of the fall for a seasonal display or a table decoration.
5. Employ your phone camera. Look out for seven autumn moments to record--inside or out. (And then send them to me at email@example.com marking the subject as 'Autumn Moments'!)
6. Slow down. Our slow moments can become more than pleasurable—they can become sacred, if we go beyond the activity to engage with the One, ‘who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment’ [1 Timothy 6:17]. In slowing down, take time to get very quiet inside, and turn your heart of affection towards the Lord; then ask Him to come and fill this moment with His presence. Our lives are filled with little grace-gifts from our Heavenly Father, if we only take time to notice.
7. And lastly, celebrate. Overflow with praise and thanksgiving for the abundance of blessings which surround you in this season.
See SPIRIT-LED SLOW-TIME: THE RHYTHM OF SEASONAL LIVING for more on making the most of the seasons, and for printable resources for Autumn.
SHARE YOUR AUTUMN STORY!
[Photo credits: Dawid Zawila (autumn scene); Piotr Laskawski (hedgehog); Heidi Kaden (coffee; ) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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