“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” –Genesis 8:2
On weekday mornings, my regular task is to prepare our chapel for our 7:00 a.m. prayer gathering. I set the music; light the candles, make the coffee, light the incense, and most importantly, unlock the doors.
Now that it is fall, the mornings are dark and cold (60 degrees—frigid by our standards). As I sleepily entered the chapel room at around 6:30 or so, I was arrested by a huge full moon shining in the upper west window. I have never caught it (or rather, it has never caught me) in the dead center of that window. As I turned my head to the larger east window, I caught the first rays of dawn appearing. I had a strange sense of mystery as I was standing in a liminal place—between night and morning; yesterday and today, sunrise and moonset.
The moment brought an acute awareness of my life as it stands (or moves) at present. I find myself in a major transition in life as far as my teaching career is concerned. I feel it is time to retire from public school teaching (at least as a full-timer) and concentrate on the other aspects of my life’s vocation—hosting retreats, speaking, and writing. This transition has been a few years coming, and has led me to many tense days of anxiety. Few people “dangle” gracefully. Modern suburban society has lost its sense of rhythm with which the agricultural seasons once provided the soul. As a result, we cling to all things homogeneous and uniform, thus making ourselves spiritually sterile and monochrome. We feel spiritual excitement when we’ve achieved neutrality. My moments of apprehension caused by my life’s transition tell me I’m just as much a product of my times as anyone else.
But then I am reminded that transitions are natural, as I stand between the lowering moon and the rising sun. I don’t mourn the moon dipping below the jagged mountain range, nor do I dread the sun rising on the eastern ridge. At the end of the day, the “hunter’s” harvest moon will most assuredly rise again in the east—massively full and red as I walk with my family in the desert twilight The Holy Spirit invites me to enjoy His presence in the “in between” places of life just as I would in the more comforting certain seasons. I begin my week with renewed hope—thanking God that he is the author of not just the harvest alone, but the tending, planting, plowing, and seeding seasons as well.
Originally Posted October 18, 2005