Fall. Halloween. Football. Breast Cancer Awareness Month.These are just a handful of the seasons October brings. If you don't believe that these are all seasons, visit any store today and you'll find paraphernalia for all of them! And just like weather seasons, these items will soon be gone from store shelves and you'll be packing your own back in boxes to be replaced with your Christmas decorations.
What came to mind as you read those words? I'm guessing that nostalgia was stirred from the deepest depths of your soul, maybe not when you read "football"...but...maybe.
Fall makes me think of pumpkins, banana bread, hayrides, leaf tag, and sweatshirts. Halloween inspires jack-o-lanterns, pillowcases full of candy, my mother's rice and chili, spider webs, and headless scarecrows sitting in rocking chairs (I know, dark stuff.). Football did not become a part of my life until I started coaching cheerleaders, so the word doesn't conjure up team colors and tailgating recipes, although I'm learning that these are vital to my survival in the South, but I think of the "Star-Spangled Banner," megaphones, cowbells, bleachers, and...well...footballs. Breast Cancer Awareness Month causes tears to build in the corners of my eyes as I think about pink ribbons, 5K races, hats, bandannas, and Cherry Vanilla Bagels at Panera.
I could have added a name or two with each of the items listed above. In fact, it's not the banana bread or the bandannas that stir the nostalgia, but rather the memories of people I love that shared these moments with me. In addition to countless childhood memories, I have shared bonfires, beach trips, birthday celebrations, white chicken chili, fall festivals, and football homecomings with dear friends...all in the month of October.
However, despite the fond memories of Octobers past, the season also tempts a sadness that I won't see any of my family this month, I'll miss my nephews' first birthdays, and I don't have a husband and kids with whom to create any new nostalgia. The memories make me long for the past and for future moments to share with my family and friends.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds me,
"To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:"
Whether the October season brings fond or painful memories or thoughts, God's purpose for these events in our lives is sure, and they come but for a season. As you reflect on past seasons while placing your newly "fundraiser-season-purchased" Caramel Apple Pie candles around your home, I pray that your thoughts toward your next season, whether joyful or sorrowful, will be filled with the confidence that God's purpose will far extend the existence of your freshly-baked pecan pie, and that it can be savored far longer than your Pumpkin Spice Latte.