The Shift

No, I did not make this.  If I did, you would not recognize it.  Thank you.

No, I did not make this. If I did, you would not recognize it. Thank you.

It’s fall.  Oh, I know we still have more than 2 weeks of summer left.  But it’s raining and coldish and, well, all the fight has gone out of summer.  Because I run outside so much, I am more sensitive to seasonal changes than I used to be.  In times past, seasons could sneak up on me.  Summer to fall in Shelton always feels like a cold, silky curtain falling down abruptly, the closing act in an outdoor play.  We never seem to “go gently into that good night.”

I had a long talk with a friend of mine recently.  We discussed the difference between knowing what to do and doing it.  As Christians, we encounter a lot of gray areas open to interpretation – food, exercise, parenting, schooling.  I’m currently debating what to do about one of mine.  He shook his head at me, saying it wasn’t gray at all.

“What if you’ve just made this area gray?” he queried, testing my logic. “What if you  want to keep it around so much, you’re willing to put up with it?”

I considered that.  I’m not a great big fan of being called on the carpet for my thinking, but he had a point.   Am I truly doing this? The Bible has a lot of straight talk about this particular subject but not how to handle it per se.  Some issues are easier to handle outside the church than inside.  I would have no trouble handling this in a work environment.  Unfortunately, I want to be kind and I want to be fair.  But maybe i just need to be a wench and be done with it.  My friend seems to think the latter.

I vacillate.  I’m not proud of it.  Generally, I’m an either/or kind of gal.  Some have called me a black-or-white person, meaning I categorize things as either good or bad, leaving very little room for doubt.  I don’t always see myself that way.  And yet, waffling turns my stomach.  I don’t even like it when people struggle to make up their minds about what to order at a restaurant or what to see at the movies.  I always feel like they’re not being honest, hiding their true intentions for fear of ridicule.  Probably it’s due in part to this scripture:  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure your faith is in God alone.  Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in all they do. – James 1:5-8.  The Bible version I grew up on called this type of person “double-minded”, literally of two minds, unable to figure out what to do.

So…maybe I’m not being honest, either.  Maybe my loyalty is divided.  I’m willing to look at those possibilities.  I’m certainly far from perfect.  I need to make my decision and stick by it.   Here, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer. Fall approaches on leaden, leaf-covered feet. Sure, we’ll still have some sunny warm days into October.  They will become fewer and far between.  Like fall, the time is coming for me to make a choice.  It’s inevitable.

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