Now that August has arrived and back to school is in full swing what more could one ask for? Ok, let me add football season! Thinking about August I think about my brother’s birthday, my grandfather’s birthday, my parents wedding anniversary, my aunt Alice, then my friend list takes hold. Birthdays in August include Richie Morris, Gary Minton, Nick Ruggieri, Jeff Musgrave, Haland Hatter, Shawn Kelly and I don’t want to forget myself but mine too. August is a crazy month filled with plenty of cake and ice cream for me. I am pretty sure after this newspaper column I will have a few more friends ask why they didn’t make this column. Fact is they are on the list, but at this very moment I am not able to recall their name or special day. I am also pretty confident that if they are a real friend that they will be willing to forgive me and will credit my loss of memory to my quickly approaching old age status.
August is a great month for me not because of all the celebrations, but rather because it is a personal signal of the approaching fall. The Fall Season is my favorite time of the year. I love watching the leaves turn and even fall from the trees. I have even been known to sit and watch for a particular leave to fall. That can take some real sitting but if the wind is blowing or if there is a rain in the air you may very well get to witness that personal changing of the season up front and close. In the Book of Ecclesiastes scripture talks all about seasons, changes, and how all this fits into time. Of all the things I am confident about, I am firmly convinced that we all would love to understand time, the seasons and changes fully. I am also firmly convinced that this is a worthy goal but it may require us to be patient, demonstrate great restraint, and practice listening to master. If we choose not to practice listening, and we choose to talk, it is very likely that we could miss His voice all together is we don’t listen some.
Learning to listen and learning to observe is not the easiest of skill sets to learn. At first mention one would think listening seems so simply. Listening seems so easy, we cannot help but ask why it is so difficult. When you think about observing this skill set we might be better able to understand why it is difficult. Most of us after watching someone struggle with a task for a little bit of time or prone to step in and compete the task thinking by demonstrating we are setting the right example. This line of thinking is not exactly correct. Yes, I believe and others will agree that demonstrating things has a great value. Showing others how something works and explaining why something works has tremendous merit and I applaud that effort. However, stepping in to complete something just because someone is struggling is not always the best answer. Learning from the example of others makes another wise and will certainly limit the number of headaches you will experience but a good struggle teaches value that is worth measuring. Let us consider the value is not stepping in to finish a task or complete a project for others. First, there is a lesson worth learning that teaches things are sometimes not completed quickly. Most folks want to start and finish something with very little down time between the start and end. One of the tough lessons of life is that this is not always the case. Value in learning how to multitask could be a lesson worth learning from such as is learning to appreciate those that know and understand the steps required to complete a project. The Bible has much to say about considering the cost prior to advancing or pressing forward.
Not sure what is happening in August for you. Could be you are celebrating a birthday or an anniversary. If that is the case then happy times is my wish to you. If you are waiting and watching for the changes of the season then happy enjoyment on that front is my wish to you. If you are not sure what August means to you, then I suggest a daily reading out of the Book of Proverbs. There is more than enough wisdom to help make any month the best month. Until then...