Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning ’til the break of day.
That is a song that still rings through my soul as the days shorten. Each day, the sun rises later, the morning is darker. Each day, the sun sets earlier, with the reminder that it won’t be too long when we get up to go to work in the dark and daylight will be fading as we return home.
Yet there is some beauty in this time of year, although nothing compares to the beauty of spring, as each day grows longer and new signs of life emerge not just each day, but seemingly hour by hour.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Yes, O Lord, give me oil in my lamp.
Indeed, for every thing, there is a season.
Some love fall for pumpkin spice and sweaters, although perhaps this isn’t what King Solomon was thinking when he wrote Ecclesiastes. The wise king reflected on his life – his youth, his young adulthood, his adventures, his misadventures. He reminds us that to discover and abide in God adds more colour, more texture, more meaning to our lives than anything man can make or offer.
And so we return to the leaves. It’s somewhat sad to see them fall, but some friends consider their change in colour as their new reveal, as chlorophyll – the chemical responsible for the green pigment – breaks down and allows other colours to emerge.
Then the leaves, in the wind, leave the tree and dance to the ground.
There is indeed a certain poetry to the dance of the leaves. As they fall from above, we can see each leaf’s beautiful uniqueness, and as they land on the ground, we can choose to bend down, observe and take it in.
We can remember with the changing seasons, our lives change too. Wrapping ourselves in a cozy sweater be comforting. Like the leaves, we can choose to let go of what doesn’t nourish us, and instead, slow down and focus on the breathtaking miraculous changes happening while we tend to rush by in our busy lives.
For everything there is indeed a season.
We are reminded the cool, autumn wind makes the dance a beautiful occasion. Indeed, the Wind makes every moment more beautiful, if only we would stop and sense It.
And so it is with the Spirit. Indigenous elder and Anglican bishop Steven Charleston describes it beautifully:
“I have a simple faith. It has taken me decades to make it simple. It started out a lot more complex and conditional. It has struggled with integrity and innovation, tradition and vision, hope and reality. In the end, my faith has come down to this: I believe in a compassionate and challenging source for all creation, the Sprit, who is forever calling me to draw closer and discover more, healing live with love all along the way.”
And when I focus on the Sprit and the unfailing lovingkindness, the skies seem clearer and more blue, without a ceiling and instead offering a connection to the incredible, boundless source of strength and love.
The Spirit has refilled my lamp. And together we can make it through the long, dark nights that will unfold over the next months.