Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. However, the official start of the autumn season is Monday, September 23. Granted, if you walk into department stores right now, we find Halloween decorations and costumes already on display. Unbelievably, some stores are pulling out the Christmas displays! (Please stop that!)

It seems part of everyone’s recent conversations centers around the changing season. Everyone has their opinion. Some (like me) are lamenting the ending of the shorts and flip-flop season. I hear many bemoan the fact that soon darkness will fall on this part of the earth as early as 4:30 pm.

Others, like my grandchildren, are eagerly anticipating fall. Emmelia tells me it is her favorite time of year. She eagerly anticipates Halloween, followed by the many fun activities winter has to offer: sledding, ice skating and snow skiing.

All of this chatter about the changing of the season reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, which begins, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted...”

The changing of the seasons are also reminders that God has provided markers to help us remember changes that take place in our lives. Things never stay the same. With each change in the seasons, we can look back and marvel at what is new and what is no more.

Think about the changes you have experienced. Some of those changes we eagerly embraced with great joy and celebration, others have caused us great despair and many… .many… many days of struggle.

To be sure, we have no control over time. We cannot turn back the hands of time (as much as we would like to at times), nor can we speed time up. Perhaps we waste far too much time looking backward and lamenting what was, or constantly looking ahead in great anticipation of what might be.

The average American male life expectancy is late 70s, and the average American female life expectancy is early 80s. Reality is none of us knows how much time we have. All we have is today, a gift and blessing from God. It is most difficult and sad when folks find themselves simply existing from one day to the next. God calls us to live life abundantly.

Henry Van Dyke writes:

Time Is…

Too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity!

We live in a world that belongs to God. All time belongs to our Creator.

Time is a gift from God. We measure time by our watches, seconds, minutes, and hours. We measure time by our calendars, days, weeks, months. Time is best measured in what we make of it… creating wonderful memories. Beautiful memories don’t just happen, we make them happen… they are intentional.

I offer you these words penned by William D. Longstaff…

“Take Time to Be Holy”

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God's children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

Pastor Russel