Growth begins with letting go.
There’s a nip in the air, a slight mist hangs over the fields, the sunlight of these last few stolen warm days – an Indian Summer and the burst of foliage colour tell us Autumn is with us – my favourite season.
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let go of things. It is in our nature to hold onto things, but what if the trees held so tightly to their leaves that they did not let them change their colours and fly?
They would have no room to grow afresh. In their attempt to protect themselves from vulnerability and bareness, they would surrender their opportunity to strengthen and renew.
They would be holding on to something that, regardless of whether they held on or not, would eventually crumble. Holding on may be seen as being strong-willed, but eventually it begins to weaken the host. So, perhaps strength is best demonstrated by those who can so elegantly let go and move on.
The dance of falling leaves is one of the most beautiful – the tree setting the leaves free: Liberate, refresh, and start all over again—to make room for a clean slate and to receive a harvest of something new.
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
We bring to God
all that is comfortable and self-satisfied in us,
and we let it go.
We bring to God the times we have avoided the struggle,
taken the line of least resistance, colluded, and let them go.
And because we believe that God does bless us,
we bring to God our questions and doubts and uncertainties,
and we offer them.
We bring to God all that we find hard to deal with,
tasks, relationships, feelings,
and we offer them
We bring to God all the messy, unwinnable struggles
and adversities that we face,
and offer them
O God, help us to use this season of Autumn
to examine our attachments,
and to sense where you invite us
to live more simply and deeply.
Shine the light of your love
into the private corners of our lives
where we have acquired so much clutter
that it has begun to restrict our freedom.
Grant us the strength to free ourselves
from appetites and needs that drive us
into taking, having, and wanting
more than we need or have time for.
Teach us that in letting go
we become free, rather than deprived,
generous rather than covetous,
and spacious rather than restricted.
Go in peace, love, and care for one another in Christ’s name,
Go in the confidence of people who have found mercy through him,
keeping the commandments
and letting go of all that binds you to the ways of this world,
And may God come close to you and keep you safe,
may Christ Jesus reward your faithfulness a hundredfold,
and may the Holy Spirit be your help in time of need.
both now and forevermore.
Hymns/Songs to listen to:
- Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
- I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
- Changing Colours by The Great Lake Swimmers (Youtube)
- October by U2 (Youtube)
Rev. Jim Williams