Even though the fall season officially began about a month ago, this past week was our first real taste of fall weather here in the Tri-County. So for myself, and I'm sure many others, it now finally feels like fall has arrived.
As a child I might have said that the summer was my favorite season because of vacations and the two-month break from school. But as an adult, there is no doubt that fall is my favorite.
With everything that the fall brings, with all of the feelings of nostalgia, and with it basically being the countdown to Christmas, there are so many reasons for me why fall is No. 1.
First and foremost, it seems like I always get many chances to enjoy some delicious food.
Thanksgiving is coming up in just over a month, and I'm always so blessed to be able to enjoy it at different places and with different loved ones. We'll visit my mom's house and my dad's house, and Carmen's mom's house and Carmen's dad's house. We'll also have a Thanksgiving dinner at church as well.
And speaking of church, if yours is anything like mine, you'll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy some delicious food this season.
Last weekend we had a dinner for Pastor Appreciation Month. This weekend we will have food for our Homecoming Old Fashioned Day. And there will be some chili dogs along with other goodies coming up at our Trunk-or-Treat event Oct. 31.
Another thing I love about fall is all of the sports we get to take in.
Football is back in full swing and there's nothing quite like going out on a Friday night to watch our local teams compete. Then on Saturdays, you can have a lazy afternoon and evening watching all of the college games.
This coming week will be an exciting one for baseball fans as the World Series is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Basketball season is also just around the corner and I know for many sports fans in Kentucky, it doesn't get much more exciting than when the UK Wildcats get back on the court.
And lastly, the fall season starts the countdown to Christmas whether you like it or not. Many folks prefer to not think about Christmas until December. But it's hard to forget it's just a couple of months away when we're already seeing decorations being sold in stores and Christmas movies being advertised on TV.
I personally don't mind mixing a little Christmas with my fall season because it all goes by so quickly. But I totally understand if you wait until after Thanksgiving to put on your Santa hat.
There's no denying just how fast these last few months of the year go by though. I've started calling September and October "the slippery slope" because it feels like you can blink and miss the entire last third of the year every year.
There are so many activities and places to be that the days just fly by from now until New Year's Eve. Of course most of these activities are fun and rewarding, and are spent with friends and family, but it's a busy time of the year nonetheless. So much so that I try to just take it slow and savor the season as much as I can whenever I can.
Many people want to stay busy, though, and can't stand time moving by slow, but I think it's important that we slow things down whenever possible and try not to be in such a hurry all of the time.
I understand when we have jobs to do and families to take care of, taking it slow isn't always an option. But all too often we cram our schedules with extra activities just so that we're constantly on the move. But if we're always in a hurry to get things done, then at least a few things are going to be neglected.
I know that if I'm in a hurry at work, which is often the case, that the overall quality of the newspaper won't be as high as the days I was able to take my time. There could be some errors here and there, and it just might not look as good overall if I'm hurrying through it.
We could also have friends and neighbors who we want to serve. But if we are in a hurry, we might overlook whatever it is they really need help with.
And last but certainly not least, if we are constantly in a hurry, it will harm our relationship with God.
If we want that deep relationship with our Lord and Savior, hurrying will instead make that relationship shallow.
If we want to meditate more and more about God, his desires for us, and the world around us, then hurrying won't get you anywhere. Hurrying will make that impossible.
Hurrying will steal the best from all of us. Hurrying will rob us of the beauty God has placed before us. Hurrying will strip away the grace others desperately need.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."
I know that finding the time to take it slow can be difficult, especially over the course of the next couple of months. But the next time you feel the hurrying and the busyness start to take control of you, I would encourage you to just hit the pause button for a moment and take a deep breath. Refuse to let yourself be rushed and overwhelmed. And remind yourself that hurrying has no place in the good work you are doing and the wonderful life God has granted you.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor at the Times-Tribune. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.