The colorful “show” of beautiful trees is ending, so says the weather man. Here in central Indiana we will be getting wind and rain the next couple days and the leaves will come down. It makes me sad because I have loved the “show” and have enjoyed the bright colors of the trees, bushes and even some shrubs. Sometimes it just takes my breath away, they are so beautiful.
Yesterday I went walking around the wooded campus of Wabash College and took lots of pictures. When the sun shines through a tree or behind it the richest colors of gold and yellow can be seen. But, alas, the time changes this coming weekend and we are headed into the month of November….as I write this it’s 60 days to Christmas!
But the colorful “show” has been wonderful and I think there is great spiritual insight with those colors! I have often thought that:
Green is the color of growth, as God grows us in faith, hope and love
Red to me stands for the passion of our hearts to love God and one another ….following our hearts to God’s call within!
Orange for the fire that burns within us, to discovering that “one thing” God would have us do in the world….perhaps we are doing it already
Yellow (doesn’t show up on the screen well) for the light of Christ within us shining out
Enjoy what is left of the colors of God’s rainbow outside! If you are feeling more gray and dark today, may these colors and the “color” of God’s love be with you to encourage you for today. Just for today, know you are enough, you are loved, and you are okay! DECOLORES’!
Yesterday Darilicous ice cream store closed for the winter! It’s a sad day in my neighborhood (Crawfordsville, IN). They are a local store located conveniently near me with a park next door for kids to play. Many times as I walk the neighborhood, I would listen to the children play, notice the soccer or baseball team crowded around the store and smile. I think relaxing at a park and having ice cream is a God-given delightful experience! I recommend it heartily!
Darilicious has been in the Crawfordsville community since the 1960’s and they are very well known. They also have soft drinks, some sandwiches and a variety of ice cream treats. I am very pleased that they are successful when there are many other options and places to get ice cream.
Their sign suggested that customers order to stock up our freezers since they were closing. So, doing my duty, I went over Sunday and ordered 6 of their chocolate chip “Mooshies”! I’m not sure who named them, but the “Mooshie” is the equivalent of the DQ blizzard and quite delicious. I will try to enjoy those somehow over the next couple months, but I do not think 6 will last until February when they reopen.
Ice cream is traditionally associated with summer, I know this. I have very fond memories of growing up during the summer and listening for the ice cream truck to come into our street. In those days it was “Mr. Softie” and their ice cream was really good. I guess I’ve never really had any “bad” ice cream if I think about it. But summer has come and gone, fall is under way and soon the time changes and the Holidays are upon us. Time is flying by it seems like.
I once had a friend of mine say that “if you aren’t careful Monday becomes Friday”! And I think that’s true. We need to take heart and give thanks that God is always “in season” and that God is always and forever with us. There is no “closing” as it relates to God and the spiritual life. As these days change, and time goes on and life is sometimes a struggle God is with us. When we lose a loved one or a friend it is hard. Grief and the related feelings of sadness and anger and whatever else are difficult. But we hold onto the God who is with us in the midst of all these things we go through and we give thanks. God in Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever”! (Hebrews 13:8).
Pretty soon the Darilicious owner will change his large outdoor sign to read “Jesus is the reason for the season” and he leaves that up through December and into the New Year. And I agree, and I’ll toast that thought with what might be my last “Mooshie” for a while…at least until spring which will be right around the corner!
So today is Columbus Day….other than no mail and no banking I probably won’t give it much thought! I did read once that Christopher Columbus was not a very nice guy. I did read once that there is controversy on whether or not he really did discover America and/or prove the earth was flat. I remember, randomly, 1492 the day Columbus sailed the ocean blue! I remember the great trivia question of the names of his three ships: Curly, Larry and Moe! (I know…I know…Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria)
So today is Columbus Day. I think more than anything else what I take away from him and his life is the sense of adventure he must have had. I mean to set sail with some belief you might go over the edge takes courage! To set sail not even sure what is out there takes courage. I am afraid, for me, it seems like I don’t feel adventurous much these days. I like my routine, my little corner of the world that I can control. I like to know what is going to happen, for the most part, and I might feel adventurous when I think about where to go for dinner, or what I need from the store. Isn’t that exciting?
Then, from out of nowhere, I am walking on a beautiful fall day in my neighborhood. I begin to notice things: the sound of the lawnmower, the smell of fresh cut grass, the sun shining, the birds singing, the children playing in a nearby park. And I’m happy. And I realize life is an adventure…every day God gives is an adventure! We “set sail” each morning unsure what we may discover ahead and that takes courage. I especially see that in the lives of patients who are sick or near death. Their sense of adventure and hope for what lies ahead is inspiring.
I prayerfully look for ways to deepen my “adventure awareness” and I invite you to do the same! Take a look around, breathe, and relax, God has this whole world in His hands….God did in 1492 and God does today in 2015!
Every weekend I serve on team there is always a “God moment”, a very special time in the weekend where something is done, said, felt, sung, and so on. One year it was my taking the golf cart and chasing geese (kidding, but I did do that), another year it was something from a rollo, another time it was the huge weight a man left in the chapel after he confessed his sins. You get the idea! Sometimes, to me, the whole weekend is a God moment. I struggled again coming down off the mountain this past Sunday and Monday …I had a great weekend here in INKY serving on a Men’s weekend.
As you know there is the Saturday talk which our group calls “Day in the Life” and it is the details of the crucifixion of Jesus. Usually in INKY we do that talk in two parts: there is the more difficult stuff of his torture and death, Holy Communion, and then the more upbeat talk on how to live out that grace in everyday life through the sacraments and other ways. At chapel on Saturday a large crucifix is used on the altar that has a large cross and the body of Jesus on it.
On our team this year was a blind man named Phil. I have his permission to share this story. I brought him up to the altar as we all gathered around for Communion mid-way through the rollo. We all shared together, pilgrims and team, our thoughts and feelings on the life and death of Jesus. I invited Phil to physically experience the crucifix. Since he could not see, he put his hands all over the body of Jesus repeating “Oh, Jesus”, “Oh, Jesus” and it was a deeply touching moment for everyone. Tearfully, Phil led a prayer and we had Communion. It was sad time but a joyful one as well because we know that crucifix does not have the last word. God does1
The “God moment” of our lives was sometime on that first Sunday morning, perhaps we call it the first Easter! The tomb was not open so Jesus could get out, it was opened so we could go in! We go in and get our “God moment”, see the empty tomb, the clothes on the floor, and then we go out to follow the Lord. And, maybe, just maybe, we can take in other God moments along the way and provide God moments for others. Whether we can physically see, or not.