An Unexpected Autumn
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
—2 Corinthians 5:17
Driving home from the party, I kept the radio off. I was enjoying the silence and lost in my thoughts of mundane things, such as what I needed from the grocery store, my "to-do" list for the following day, and exactly how many calories were in the bacon-wrapped date* I had eaten earlier … times seven.
I had been at a dinner party where I wasn't well known, and though I enjoyed the evening very much, I left still unsure about where I fit into the group.
For me, those mundane thoughts on the drive home about the grocery list and those bacon-wrapped dates were nothing short of monumental. Here's why. Typically, when I am unsure of the impression I have made on others, I dwell on things I did or said that were, in my critical mind, awkward or weird.
Then I tell myself that I am a social moron.
Then I swear off dinner parties.
Then I declare that I am alone in this world.
Then I go home and eat ice cream.
That didn't happen this time.
I simply wondered if we needed milk.
It didn't occur to me until later that my pattern of self-condemning thoughts has begun to change. Yes, I have been intentional about reshaping my destructive self-talk, and yes, I have asked the Lord to transform me in this area. But I didn't think anything was actually happening.
Until it did.
Your mind is being renewed at this very moment. Sometimes you don't see it because change can be excruciatingly slow—like watching the leaves on a tree change color. Do you ever really see it happen before your eyes? No. But one day, you look up, and trees that once bloomed with leaves of green are bathed in the warm colors of fall. Just the same, every so often in our journey through life, there comes an unexpected autumn—and you find that transformation is at hand and that God is at work, even when you don't see it coming.
*There are 58 calories in one bacon-wrapped date—just in case you were wondering.
-Excerpt from Gathering Dandelions: Meditations on Faith, Fracture, and Beauty Mistaken for a Weed by Melissa Maimone