Emptying
September, 2009

     Time has moved forward from the heat of August.  
Life has begun a process of emptying itself
of all the glory and splendor of summer days.  
At first we don’t notice the subtle changes,
but already the sun is setting earlier in the evening
and rising later in the mornings.  
Weather is fickle—it can’t make up its mind
which direction it desires to unfold.  

We may not notice the differences from August.
However, a fundamental shift has occurred
that will take us some time to process.
Life has begun a phase of unwinding,
dwindling, and waning;
being emptied of the vitality it once knew.

Unable to reinvigorate ourselves,
we contract and shrink.
We grow in impotence.  
We might be oblivious for some time
before we are awakened to the new reality:
Life is gathering again at the roots.


     We are perplexed!  
What once worked,
no longer carries the same enthusiasm or vigor.  
Words that enlivened our hearts and minds
fall short and disappoint.  
We try to pump up old slogans.  
We give life another “shot in the arm.”  
We pull on our boot straps and try harder.
We fail to recognize that we have left the growing season.  
Life has started a descending journey.

Having learned how to be successful and carry out great exploits,
we think we can still just “turn it on again” and all will be okay.  
However, we have missed the signs and the turning points—
still thinking we are in the ever
expanding growing period of summer months.  

We enter a period of time marked by confusion,
disorientation, and eventually disillusionment.  
We fight hard against the growing changes that are overtaking us.  
Nevertheless, we are slowly being emptied.  
A growing sense of insecurity overshadows us
as we begin to navigate this time change.  
A foreboding presence creeps near our hearts.
Uncertainty is new to us.  

Spirit has been our friend during the robust periods of spring and summer.  
Soul now awakens a deeper part of us.
Many of us fight this process as if “kicking against the goads.”  
We might have some “green shoots”
only to find them dwindle away as quickly as they appeared.
Life loses its staying power.  
There has been a paradigm shift.  
Yet, we have little awareness of what is bubbling under the surface.  


     September starts us on a soul journey of utmost importance.
Some part of us knows that we must be renewed.
The growth of summer needs to be pruned.
Our hubris needs our lamenting moan,
and there is a yearning for rest.  

Fires leave ashes.  
Our zeal and self-righteousness have caused enormous damage.  
All our exuberance and fleshly activity slowly come into our awareness.  
Emptiness grows.  

We might not feel the grief yet but it is surely growing underneath.  
Either we allow some introspection, humility, and repentance to lead us
or we continue down a road
that will surely grow in pain and depression.  

Somewhere on the journey, we begin to call out:
“Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us and be gracious.  Help us to see!”   

     “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:27-29).

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
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