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Reclaiming Fall Timing


I hope to reclaim “time” this fall.  Our calendars start the New Year on January 1, but it tends to feel like early fall kicks-off a new year. School starts in the fall. Even if you don’t have kids or yours are grown and off on their own, there is a certain energy that comes with the beginning of the school year that is unmatched the rest of the year. Two years ago when we moved to New Canaan the day before school was the last for our pet fish Hot Shot. With endings come beginnings. Last year the school year was delayed for a week due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. This year feels pretty normal other than getting back on Monday morning after a last summer trip out to Wisconsin last weekend for my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary party. Fall is a time to reclaim our sense of normalcy, but it is also a time to look ahead and plan for the future.

It is not just the school year that begins anew in the fall. The television schedule brings forth its new line-ups and programming.   Football and other fall sports fill the schedule inviting us to spectate or participate. Churches resume or renew their program ministries – and the congregation I serve is no exception. We have a growing number of things on our fall calendar as we all get back from summer vacations and jump right back into worship, learning, fellowship, service and generosity in the coming months. As much as everything in New England still appears green and lush, autumn colors are on the way too. Out of endings come beginnings, and the fall is often a time for such renewal.

Autumn offers new possibilities to make worthwhile changes in our lives. We are more accustomed to these opportunities for change at other times of the year. At the start of the calendar year we often make New Year’s resolutions. In Lent we often give something up or take up something new. Yet the fall gives us another occasion to set goals, revive our disciplines that may have gone lax over lazy summer days, and think about how we structure our time, relationships and responsibilities as our calendars begin to fill-up with commitments and activities. It doesn’t take much to let time get away from us – but intentional stewardship of our time seems necessary in our fast-paced, high-demand world. God gave us time as a gift – to be utilized, appreciated and celebrated, rather than as something that so often escapes us.

You probably have your own strategy for reclaiming time this fall, but here is ours. As a family we decided to re-implement a Sunday family meeting, re-kindle our exercise regimens, re-visit our chore schedule and re-energize family time in the morning by adding morning devotions. (We decided to read through the 150 Psalms this school year over breakfast, spend a couple of minutes reacting to what we read, and close with a prayer.) Fall is a great time to set patterns for the rest of the year. Out of endings come beginnings. Now is the time to start anew!

 Reclaim time this fall: Re-implement. Re-kindle. Re-visit. Re-energize.

This time, right now, is God’s gift to you.


“Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.        Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

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