I am sitting in my office looking out at a slowly dying world. The maple leaves whose bright red colour I have been admiring for the last week are now buffeted by the winds and falling to the ground. The squash plants are dead, the tomatoes are dying and everything is getting ready for winter. Last year I wrote this reflection on Weathering the Winter Storms. It is as necessary to be ready for the death of winter as it is for the new life of spring.
Death is a necessary part of life and that is not only in the garden. Yesterday I chatted to MSA team member Cindy Todd about the transitions we are going through and the things that have had to die in order for us to re-emerge with a newness that comes from God. “Death is good” she commented, reflecting on the fact that her business Snohomish Soap Company would never have been birthed if she and her husband had not lost jobs in Florida and decided to move to Seattle. Watching Cindy give birth, grow and bear fruit out of the seeds that were planted through the death of her old life has been inspiring. I love this video that she put together for her recent involvement in Fast Pitch.
So often death in the form of a lost job or failed expectations is necessary for God’s newness to emerge. Sometimes when we look back we are aware that God has been prompting us in new directions for a while but the security and comfort of the old holds us bound. God in love and compassion forces us to die and let go.
Jesus says: If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matt 10:39) The journey of faith is a cycle of birth, growth, fruit and death. And in the place of death we often find the seeds of new life – the longings and desires of our hearts that we have suppressed because change and radical newness threaten our comfortable status quo.
Two questions emerge for me from this reflection. First: What does God want to put to death in your life that you are still clinging onto?
For those who feel they are in a season of death: What are the seeds of newness God is planting within you during this season? What are your dreams and hopes from the past that might be birthed into something totally new at this time?