Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Thoughts of September

The weather the last few days has been distinctly autumnal, with drizzly rain, steel skies and nip in the air. Despite the announcement this morning that the north west will begin a hose-pipe ban at the beginning of next week, I find myself thinking past the summer to September.

Part of this harks back to my time at boarding school, where the seasons were punctuated not just by a change of weather, but by complete change of location as we moved back home at the beginning of July for two months.

I've never really shaken off the rhythm of the school year, and September always feels more like an opportunity for new beginnings than new year ever did.

Our church runs along similar lines because young families and students make up such a large proportion of it; our Thursday mid week service closes for the summer completely, and our Sunday evening one dwindles from about 50 to about 20. A few of the students stay, others faithfully commute back and forth at weekends to fulfil their commitments to the music group and Sunday school.

A new school year was new opportunity to work harder, do better, achieve more, but all with it tinged with a darker more unlikely hope....that I'd finally make people like me.

In the September of my last year at school as clinical depression set in I finally accepted I couldn't do that. It took me a long time to learn that I could never do that, because most good friends are made, not won.

I learnt that a September too, when I came to university. It's a lesson that came with time and God's grace. And it was worth the pain of learning by hard graft.

As the 'new' year approaches with autumn, I know that what ever aspirations and challenges I set for myself, I know that not alone. Abba, Daddy, come goes with me, and in his kindness, the friends He has gifted me with come too.

The next few weeks will be filled with the excitement of plans for the new academic year, a development plan for work, a plan for music and Biblical Greek. It will be exciting, but it will also be full of hard work, disappointment, and frustration.

I love to learn, and my Heavenly Father longs to teach me. He probably has some different areas he will plan to grow me in. Knowledge of Him, patience, humility. I won't always know in advance how he will instruct me, but I should expect Him to, and be ready and waiting to try and learn to be obedient to the ways he'd like me to grow to be more like Jesus.

Lessons can be hard, exhausting and take a long time to learn, but with God there is the garantee that in eternity we will finally be perfect, just like Jesus. We'll glorify Him for instructing us in the things we could never have learnt alone. Because once the King starts a job he finishes it. Promise.

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