Fall trees

I have a love/hate relationship with fall. New England is picturesque when the leaves change. The smell of burning wood from fireplaces permeates the air. We go apple picking and drink cider. However, it’s a tense time because New Englanders, like squirrels storing nuts, know we have a limited time to finish projects before we’re blasted with piles of snow.

I’ve helped my husband in the home improvement industry for years, and the most demanding people voice their complaints right when the weather turns. I suspect it has something to do with procrastinating all summer. They’re panicking because they want their home fixed before the first snowfall.

Whatever it is, life gets crazy. Deadlines, school projects, homework, business meetings, budget planning, fall sports, there are a million things that must be done yesterday, and they’re all screaming for attention. We run with our shoulders wrenched up to our earlobes, trying to subdue whichever problem wails the loudest.

Can we find peace in the madness?

Woman Dancing - UpSplash photo by Todd Trapani

After picking up one son from football practice, I was rushing to fix dinner so my family could eat together for fifteen minutes before I have to drive my other sons to youth group. An Ed Sheeran song, Barcelona, played in the background, as I chopped veggies. I’m a lyrics person (I tend not to notice the guitar riffs which pains my husband who plays the electric guitar), and a verse stuck out, “Get lost in the rhythm with me.”
I’m certain Ed Sheeran meant to lose yourself in dance to the music, but my heart heard a verse from The Message Bible, get lost in the unforced rhythms of grace.

Matthew 11:28-30 says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The stress of crazy customers, demanding bosses, and piles of homework may not go away, but that doesn’t mean we need to be stressed. We can relax into God’s rhythm because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It doesn’t mean our workload will disappear, but we’ll find joy in our labor. We’ll catch our stride or find the zone. We can take a breath, knowing God won’t give us anything we can’t handle. He’ll multiply our time or bring others alongside to share the load.

Even if the world around us is screaming, “I’m stressed!” we can let God recover our lives. We can relax, enjoy the opportunity before us, and say, “I’m blessed.”

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