As many of you are aware, the Sargent family made a transition in 2021 from the sun kissed beaches of San Diego, to the four seasons of the midwest. To be honest, it is quite an adjustment. For instance, I woke up the other morning and it was 28 degrees! Needless to say my system went into shock LOL! It has been awhile since I have lived in weather like this and as several of my friends have already mentioned, ‘this ain’t nothing yet!’ YAY ME!
But living in the midwest, with its seasonal changes very evident, reminds me of where I grew up in Southern Idaho. This time of year was something we looked forward to for various reasons. It was fall and fall meant football and homecoming with its floats and special rallies. Fall meant ski season was getting close and it was time to get your skis tuned up and ready for the slopes in Sun Valley, Pomerelle, or Soldier Mountain. Fall meant it was time to dig out your winter jacket that had all the ski lift tickets attached to the zipper and hopefully be the one that had the most tickets from the previous ski season.
It also reminds me of hunting. I grew up near the rim of the Snake River Canyon, which was a boys paradise, filled with hunting and fishing year round. I did a lot of bird hunting along with my dog named Levi, a black lab I had trained to help me retrieve the birds I took from the sky.
This time of year reminds me of the family sitting around the fire place, the smell of cookies and apple cider coming from the kitchen. This year, more so than many of the years of my past, brings to mind memories of moments long ago and causes me to think of simpler times. Times where the pressures of life were not nearly as evident as they appear to be now. Times where the anticipation of the holidays almost drove us Sargent boys crazy! Times where snow days would begin with us sitting around the radio, just praying and hoping the disc jockey would say our school name as being on the cancelled list for the day!
Now, we are living in an age where the world is more uncertain than it has ever been. At the time of this writing we are nearing the end of the year 2021, a year that has held many uncertainties with the worldwide pandemic of COVID along with so much political unrest. Every morning is filled with new headlines of more uncertainties and calamity throughout our world, that it can get pretty daunting if you let it. In fact, it can bring a spirit of fear into your life if you and I are not careful.
However, I woke up this morning with a song on my mind. It is a song that we used to sing when I was growing up, and to be honest I haven’t heard it in such a long time, but there it was in my brain as I rolled out of the bed this morning:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace– Helen Howarth Lemme
I sincerely believe that so much of the uncertainties that we face, the fear that seems to be so palpable every single day of our lives, could be easily diminished if we did what the lyrics of that song are saying. Instead of focusing on the things of this world, with all of its distracting noise, we should look to Jesus for He still is the Author and the Finisher of our FAITH. Fear may distract you but FAITH will sustain you in times like this. Fear may keep you locked in a prison of doubt and uncertainty of what is to come but if you can just have FAITH and turn your eyes on Jesus, I promise you things will start to look different.
Though this may appear to be a time where you are unsure of what is coming next, it is also a very exciting time! It is a time to see God do amazing things in you and amazing things through you. This is a great time to be alive because I still believe the best is yet to come for you, for your family, for the church and for the world. Look up my friend – Turn your eyes to Jesus – He has never lost and He never will. These are just a few words rolling around in my mind today. I trust you can find some hope scattered throughout this blog post!
Till next time – Adios!
~ Darin S.