I just about dropped my drawers when I looked at the calendar and realized it’s only two months till Christmas.
I know I’m jumping the gun. We haven’t made it through Halloween, haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving, and I’m pulling the retail blunder by pushing the envelope on Christmas. I live in Florida. We’re just now getting to the point where temperatures are dropping below 80 degrees. Where the damp is a little less.
It’s fall in Florida.
Having grown up in Illinois, I long for the crisp weather and beautiful colors that heralded the onset of autumn. When raking leaves was fun and not just necessary. The weather made football games tolerable and kept soccer players from dropping into sweat heaps.
I love where I live. It’s where I’ve raised my family, made memories and have enjoyed the benefits of warm in winter. I love the sun. I’m not whining–much.
When the temperatures stay in the 90’s through the beginning of October, and the humidity hovers high, it makes sense to long for something a little cooler. More comfortable.
Fact is, I often long for what I don’t–or can’t–have. Like a beautiful fall day with colors and cool. But we’ve chosen to live in Florida rather than places that would provide the falls I dream of. When I choose one thing there will be an automatic “no” to something else.
We live in a world where denying ourselves anything is seen as self-limiting. We want it all. We want to be able to do what we want when we want and the rest of the world needs to tolerate our choices.
What if our choices hurt others? Shouldn’t that affect what we think we want?
I gave Teagan a hard time about the number of jelly beans he was inhaling. At almost eleven, food is often eaten in great quantities. I asked him if he was having issues with cavities since he has such a powerful sweet tooth. His remark was quite profound. “Nope. I just pulled the tooth that had the cavity.” Get rid of the issue before it becomes a problem.
Life doesn’t function that way. We don’t live in isolation, ignoring those living around us, whose lives are affected by our choices. Our next door neighbors take great pride in their yard and work tirelessly at keeping it beautiful. Our crab grass is beginning to infringe on their beautiful lawn. We’re trying to get it all out before it affects–and infects–theirs. I need to choose to be a good neighbor.
Jesus taught life is a series of choices. Daily we’re given the opportunity to choose the helpful and hopeful in Him or choose our own paths for temporary satisfaction and pleasure.
I can’t have it both ways.
Choosing Florida for our jobs (obvious) and weather (we do hot and humid well) means I give up the opportunity to live in colder climes and experience a colorful fall.
Choosing Jesus means I seek to obey Him and honor what He’s said in His word. I choose to give up living for me alone and think more of others.
What are the choices you need to make?