I loved growing up in Lancaster, Ohio. We lived close enough to walk to my elementary school, all my friends houses were within a block or two. And in October, we could walk to the Fairfield County Fair! Oh, the fair! A highlight of every year as far back as I can remember. Here is an aerial view of just how closely we lived to the fairgrounds:
It was always such an exciting week when my sister and I would get a day off school to go to the fair with our friends. The rides, the food, a whole day to just be a kid and have fun. Started the morning bundled up, then we would walk home to shed our coats and head back down until we would need our coats again. Riding the Zipper over and over till we felt we could lose the elephant ear we had just scarfed down. Tossing a bazillion rings to try and win one of the canes on the corner...you all know what I am talking about! Cramming as many of us into the photo booth for the annual "fair friends badge" to wear on our jean jackets. What great memories. October is a favorite month for me, not just for memories of the Fairfield County Fair, but also because of what fall means to me. The change of the seasons from blistering hot, to just a little gray and drizzly makes me feel all the warm fuzzy feelings. It speaks comfort to me. Like curling up on the couch on a wet gray fall day with your newest reading material and a cup of hot tea, or baking some pumpkin bread. But more importantly fall is a season of harvest. This time of year I often begin to feel like a tree that needs pruning, or some sort of attention to my care. Harvesting memories of the previous seasons, harvesting fruits or vegetables we may have grown, or from anothers' labor. All in all, fall harvest to me, is a gathering of special moments to reflect on as the year comes to a close. This year we have so many great memories to look back on in gratitude. Both of our daughters had babies this year, we moved into our brand new forever home, and so on and so on. The one thing I am most grateful for right now is the protection and covering of my heavenly Father. If there is ONE THING I could give thanks for every day it is just that, His sovereignty over my life. Daily I mess up, daily I fail at something, daily I need His covering. If I am going to harvest any ONE THING every year as it comes to a close, it is the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of my Father.
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will sing to the LORD because He is good to me.
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!
...and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
The word reckless is so strongly tied to being impulsive and unwise, yet those thoughts are so incongruous with God's character. Though none of these verses speak of the recklessness of us, they speak to the recklessness of God toward us. Reckless in the sense that He will stop at nothing to bring us back to Him. He inserts Himself into all aspects of our lives. So if that is reckless love for His children, I pray I feel that all the days of my life.
Cory Asbury, the writer of the well known contemporary Christian worship song, "Reckless love", said this about his lyrics; "When I use the phrase, “the reckless love of God”, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn’t crafty or slick. It’s not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it’s quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there."
As the above image says, we don't deserve it, we CANNOT earn it, still the Lord continually gives Himself away to us, He lavishes His love upon our lives daily.
This fall season, as you are closing out your year and reflecting on your blessings, do you count the reckless love of God that pursued you in the previous seasons?
My prayer: Hello October, hello harvest, hello Father in Heaven and thank you for continually putting others above yourself and setting that example for us in your Son Jesus Christ. May we be a people that begin to lavish that same reckless love on others as we say goodbye to the year and anticipate the new.