Photo by alice10 on Morgue File.
When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin’ when I hold you
Don’t you know I feel the sameNothin’ lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain(Lyrics from Cold November Rain, by Guns N’ Roses)
November came in with cool dreary days. It is a new month. A month that will fly by as fast as the previous ten have. It is amazing to me how fast time flies as you get older. (Notice I said get older and not get old!) November reminds us that the year is almost over. Soon, we’ll all be singing Auld Lang Syne and toasting our champagne for a new year . . . or, you may be fast asleep when 12:00 strikes for the new year!
November is an interesting month. It is interesting, not only for its holidays or awareness days, but its very name and curious tidbits. For example, why do we call this month November? Well, it goes all the way back to the Romans. All roads lead to Rome you know, apparently even the names of some of our months!
The word November comes from the Latin novem which means nine. Now this makes perfect sense, seeing that November in the Roman calendar was the ninth month of their year. Later, the months January and February were added to the beginning of the calendar and November was moved two spots over; yet, it still kept its name meaning ninth, even though it became the eleventh month. I mean, do you really want a month called Undecimber?
Here are some other curious tidbits about the grand month of November (from Wikipedia):
November starts on the same day of the week as February in common years [i.e. non-leap year years] and every year as March.
November ends on the same day of the week every year as August.
November is one of four months with the length of 30 days.
Of course, in the liturgical calendar today, November 2nd, is All Souls Day. It is a day to remember those who have been faithful to the Faith and have passed. It is a day to remember those who have come before us, whether in distant history or those we have known personally, and to regard their acts of faithfulness and examples of commitment to Christ.
I think of such great thinks and leaders as: Polycarp, Ignatius, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, Edwards, Whitefield and many others.
But I also remember those believers that have touched my life directly, through their teaching, life and example. I remember those men and women and their faithfulness and willingness to invest themselves in me and many others.
While we know none of these individuals were perfect–they all had their shortcomings; we still remember their dedication and commitment and willingness to teach and to help others.
In the book of Hebrews, the writer reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hb. 12.1). I don’t personally think this means those in Heaven see and know everything we do here on earth . . . at least, I hope they don’t! But, I do think it means we, who are carrying the baton in this leg of the race, should be reminded of those who have gone on before and paved the way for us.
As one has said, we stand on their shoulders. That is to say, we may see more and farther than they, but it is because God has built in our lives on the foundation that they have laid.
If you find the time today, remember one or two people who have meant something to you and your walk of faith, who have gone on to be with the Lord. Or, at least, remember the examples of the New Testament believers and their faith and dedication.
In turn, use these remembrances to be a catalyst to you doing your part . . . of you, taking the mantle as Elisha did, and investing yourself in the lives of others. God may lead you to be a mentor to a new believer. He may guide you to give godly wisdom to one who is struggling with the entanglements of life. He may call you to share his Son with one who is desperate and in the depths of sin and lostness.
As Christ himself taught us, be a light in your world—the world where God has placed you and called you. We know that wherever God places us, wherever he calls us, he equips us to do his will and fulfill the tasks he has called us to do.
I pray you all have a great, safe and happy Undecimber . . . I mean, November!