The increased number of big yellow buses on the roads, matched by school kids with giant new backpacks, is a sure indication of the change from summer abundance to autumn activity.

Summers in the Washington area mean being the hosts to thousands of folk who have come to enjoy the historical and cultural institutions that are home to us. It’s interesting to think that WE are what they are reporting they did on their summer vacations.

The start of school brings a new kind of activity—back to school! By the last week of vacation this is a moment welcomed in most household. Now the focus is on new challenges, new circumstances, and all the unknown experiences that a new school year brings.

And even if you aren’t heading back to school—or the parent of someone going into a new year—this flurry of activity can be a reminder of how varied and different life’s experiences can be.

The Psalmist wrote: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1). All of human experience, all that is known, all that we can comprehend, is under the watchful eye and care of God. Blessings abound from a beneficent Creator. God sustains and also blesses. He provides for our needs and nurtures us with new experiences. Each new day is chock-full of opportunities for grace, growth, and the undiscovered joy of being alive.