I love October. It is my favorite month of the year. It signals the arrival of Fall – my favorite season. I love the changing colors of the trees and the reds and oranges that fill the landscape. I enjoy the sound of leaves crunching under my feet and the cool, crispness of the air. I prefer sweaters and boots over shorts and flip flops any day. I wish I could say that I love everything about Fall, however that would be a lie. This is the most difficult time of year for me mentally. I definitely struggle with some seasonal depression that starts to nag at me around this time of year. Some days I would like to pull the covers over my head and let the entire day pass me by.
Some may wonder how this can be my favorite time of year when I have some of my most difficult days during this season. The reason is because I choose it. I have a choice every day when I wake up whether I am going to focus on the good things or focus on the difficult things. When I decide that I am going to focus on the good things, it makes it easier to face the day. Choosing to focus on the things that I love does not change the depression that I feel, but it does affects my ability to deal with it.
We are currently in a season in which most of us are unfamiliar. COVID-19 is still affecting us and how we live our lives. The fight against injustice is visible daily in many of our communities – something many have us have not been confronted with until now. We get to choose how we are going to deal with this season as well. We can choose to focus on the bad things – events being cancelled, jobs lost, sickness, death, riots and destruction. Or, we can choose to focus on the good that is coming out of this season – families spending more time together, neighbors helping each other, bias and racism being identified, and hearts being changed.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us how we should respond regardless of the season we are in. “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” (MSG).
What good things are you seeing during this season? Will you choose to focus on those things?