I sit watching the leaves collect on my lawn, the lawn that won’t belong to me in a week or two. Every year, every time, this same thing happens. Life – the whole ecosystem does a flip – sheds the summer greens for fiery orange and red, and then falls to the ground a soft as a whisper.

Things are happening, beyond our call or control. It is always this way.

Watching the presidential debates last night, I heard vitriol and anger and posturing seeping out of every word. Hearing wounded children speak with calculation and precision about each other and others. One will be given a position that is nearly unwinnable, unmanageable, and one that will most certainly accentuate whatever darkness rolls around within them.

Things are happening, beyond our call or control. It is always this way.

So I zip up my fleece and rummage around in the tea drawer, looking for that sachet of reddish-brown goodness flecked with seeds and dried fruit. The kettle whistles, the cup awaits. A small metal basket cradles the tea, the water cascades over and in the cup below there is transformation. Darkened liquid with beautiful aroma comes out of gnarly dry bits, and I’m just the guy pouring the water. I am no magician. No genius. Just one bearing water and heat.

Things are happening, beyond our call or control. It is always this way.

The beautiful part of faith, knowing that we are beyond our pay grade in every moment is that we lean into the Divine – that which is beyond us but with us – when we feel this weight. The weight of things out of control, the weight of love needing to break through but struggling to find a seam to tug at, the weight of a world who needs power-used-appropriately, it all pushes us to reach beyond ourselves.

Things are happening, but none of it beyond the call and control of God. It is always this way.

So we may vote. So we MUST love.
So we make tea and read both books and our world.
So we seize moments with family and friends.
So we do hard jobs, we work with excellence because it is that creative part of God deep within us.
So we hug our kids, we hug each other and listen closely and deeply.
So we serve the powerless, we speak truth to the powerful.
So we laugh and cry and worship and eat.
So we call our anxiety what it is, claim and embrace our fear of being wrong or unsafe and our willingness to act out of that place.
So we do that which we have been assigned and designed to do since the beginning.

We do it because when things are happening, we are cared for and called to unsafe steps of constructive glory, in the way of Jesus.

Things are happening. We need not fear. The leaves are always changing. 

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