By Tracey Bianchi
August is ripe with impending change. From the waning of early summer garden crops to Labor Day fashion advisories against wearing white. Come September, weather patterns shift and the sun slips away so very early. Halloween costumes crop up and Christmas decor makes a debut. Every fall, the nudge to hunker down and get some work done emerges in my soul. My children will dash off to school armed with new pencils and pink erasers and I will be left trying to match their pace. Stressful as it can be, I do love the smell of those new erasers. Their scent, exactly as I recall from my childhood, strangely motivates me.
The end of summer signals the start of new endeavors and redirected efforts, a fresh eraser in many ways. As August melts into September, what are you striving toward? Have you considered harnessing the cultural momentum of this season to accomplish something new as a leader? As a servant?
The author of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is indeed a season for everything, for everything under the sun. And while historically I’ve saved this Scripture for the epic movements of life, like birth and death, it reminds me that within each year, each loop through the calendar, there are seasons to emerge and seasons to rest. As our culture pulls us toward the busyness of fall, consider what you might want to accomplish by December. Picture yourself sitting around the table at Christmas — what leadership principle are you leaning into by then? What new endeavors at the office are you privileged to report? Perhaps even a fresh resume or a return to school?
What traveling companions you will need in order to move through the fall? Are there friendships or professional relationships you need to develop? Do you need a mentor? Could you be a mentor?
So as your toes wiggle free in those flip flops for just a bit longer, challenge yourself to take two full hours (not much time, but a start) one afternoon this month to write down your goals and dreams for the fall. If time allows, expand each idea by a 2-3 sentences and include one action step to take in order to achieve your goal. Consider adding the names of a few people who might help you achieve these dreams. Then slap this list on your fridge or desk. In stating our goals we will be reminded of where we are heading once October comes and tumbles into November and we get weary with the pace of it all. Then go back to your fridge, grab a lemonade, head outside and soak up the sunshine for just a bit longer. Ask God to go with you into this next season. Ask him to make you bold and bring you his good fruit, and maybe a new eraser too.
Tracey Bianchi is shopping for her pink eraser just outside of Chicago where she serves on Pastoral Staff at Christ Church of Oak Brook with Worship and Women. She is also a freelance writer and speaker. She also jockeys one husband, one goldfish and three children. You can catch her musings at traceybianchi.com.