Ripening

By Pastor Paula Burchill

Don’t the days feel ripe this time of year?  You can smell the ripe blackberries falling off the vine, summer feels fully ripe with warmth and finality, I feel ripe with questions—did we do enough this summer?  Enjoy the beautiful weather enough?  Hike enough?  Travel enough?  Are we ready for school?

I think there are a couple of ways to look at this.  Part of me is so sad.  The start of school is such a marker of the passage of time when you have kids.  They are getting older and my days with them at home are feeling numbered.  But I also feel these ripening days are a time of excitement and anticipation.

I was reading a blog by Jen Breen, in which she asked the question:  What is ripening in you right now?

A friend of mine loves to talk about times in life that are what she calls “molten moments.”  Those times are often times of transition—sometimes big ones like getting married, moving, getting a new job or retiring, having kids, kids leaving home.  She says the moments are molten because in these times we are often primed for change or openness.

I think that is what I’m feeling this summer.  I have so enjoyed the warm weather after our tough winter.  And I have really tried to appreciate each day. So often I suffer from summer scarcity, when I spend my days worrying that the summer is too short instead of just appreciating the time I do have.  So to have been more conscious of the time, more present in the moment, has made ripening feel like a word that perfectly describes the time of transitioning we are moving into.

And I also love that word and that question—what is ripening in you right now?—as a question of faith.

God is always at work in our lives, of course.  But often we don’t notice it or pay attention to it.  But as we head into fall at SLC, we are going to be asking ourselves questions about where God wants us to be.  How can we share Jesus’ love in our community?  What needs are there in our community that God has uniquely equipped SLC to meet?  What has God been ripening in us that might be ready for harvest?  What has God ripened in you?

Will you take a molten moment and ask yourself that question?   Does it seem like God has been leading you down a path and it is time to start walking?  Have you been having a nagging feeling that your neighbor might enjoy coming to church but you have been too worried about asking her?  Have you noticed a need and been ignoring it and it has gone on long enough?

What has God been ripening in you that might be ready for harvest?

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