This morning as I ate breakfast, I noticed a few leaves falling outside my window. I was reminded that someone prayed last Sunday for our congregation – we represent various seasons of life … childhood, youth, young adulthood, middle age, seniors … and I thought a bit about my current season of life.
As I sipped an iced coffee with a friend we talked about this current season – it’s challenges, what we have accomplished (or haven’t accomplished) and how to finish well. What do we value … for what are we striving? It was a bit uncomfortable … because we don’t want to be found grasping, clutching the insignificant things in our lives … instead we want to be found stretching out towards the celebrated finish line …
Luke quoted Paul in Acts: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Paul writes about himself in his letters to Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Keats writes about Autumn …
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
There is something about that line … conspiring with the sun to bless the vines … I see in that phrase Paul’s emphasis on running the race well.
I want to conspire with the Son to be a blessing … where he has planted me …