It has been a busy fall in this part of North Dakota. The harvest is complete for most folks, and the main activities now include moving cattle, weaning the calves, and cleaning equipment--in short hunkering down for winter's inevitable blast--an ending of sorts. Yes, it's the end of another year's crop, the end of warm weather, the end of the church year, and approaching the end of the calendar year. This season marks not only nature's annual dying but also the conclusion of earthly life for several parishioners and community members. For this small parish it's meant four funerals in four weeks and a full cup of grief for friends and family alike.
Yet time cycles on--we must die to this life to experience the fullness of eternal life. Fall gives way to winter in order for winter to bow to spring. The many Sundays of ordinary time pass so that we may experience the reflection and expectation that comes with Advent. Life. Breath. Rhythm. Our days are numbered and marked by joy, pain, and busyness. As this present year in all its forms and functions now fades away, my wish for you is time to pause and truly live in at least some of the moments of your life.