The official start to the season of fall is now upon us. For me, fall always began on the first Wednesday after Labor Day when I returned to school for another year. The air was different, a little cooler, and the days were ending a little earlier each evening. Soon the foliage that blanketed the hills would burst forth with glorious colors.
Many people call elsewhere home. Can Naples ever be home if you spend part of the year elsewhere, if your kids and grandkids aren’t here, or if this isn’t where you built your family? … Can we be a community in which, when we are together, we know we’re with our people, and that there’s a place for us? That’s what home is after all, safety, security, and comfort, isn’t it?
Where can we turn for our help? How can we cultivate sturdy souls? We can turn to the church. We can find help to keep our souls sturdy. At church our souls get a workout, becoming strong and resilient. At church our souls get stretched and strengthened. At church our souls get realigned so that we can be agile and flexible about how to live out of compassion and generosity instead of the greed and desperation we see around us.
Three of my favorite teachers were also members of my church so my behavior in those classes was exemplary. …It gives me comfort to know that they worshipped with me and kept an eye on me throughout the years, offering encouragement and advice in my early and mid-adult years.
For a few seconds at least, I gave thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. It was not half-hearted thanks; my heart was really in it. I was truly thankful. But then, I went on about my business and didn’t have such a ‘wholehearted’ thanks again for a good long time.