We headed out for the holiday weekend to enjoy a few days of R&R at the beach before the grind of the school year schedule began. I could not wait to plant myself and do NOTHING for a couple of days. And other than the basic stuff like cooking, cleaning and laundry, that is exactly what I did for the first whole day! I sat on the beach and napped and did nothing while the kids played. By the second day, I was feeling a little restless. All the reading I wanted to do suddenly held little interest. The quiet time alone with the Lord that I had CRAVED felt fulfilled to a large degree. The household chores that I planned to shortcut as much as possible started to feel more necessary and even urgent. I was feeling anxious to get up and get some exercise.
I sensed in my being that my time for rest was done. (unbelievably, that only took one day!)
Here in the Northeast the change of season is upon us. You can smell it and feel it in the air. The nights are cooler and the greenery is perking up. The kids are back to school and football has begun. It’s a time of change when nature and culture seem to be in harmony.
After Christmas we will celebrate the New Year and many will make New Year’s resolutions to go along with the internal sense of change and renewal. We will be done with one year and look forward to a fresh new start, a new season, in the next year.
In March next year, Christians will celebrate the most important day in our liturgical calendar, the Resurrection of Christ. That season will be marked by signs, both internally and in nature, of new life. A new season will be upon us once again.
As much as we are creatures of habit and traditions, we are also creatures meant for seasons. Life is chock full of “deaths and resurrections” indicating that God never intended for us to be stagnant.
Eccl 3:1-9 “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
And indeed He sent us his Holy Spirit to keep us moving! We weren’t created for the mediocrity of settling for the status quo of this life. Very often we ride along happily on cruise control and continuously strive for the ordered and pleasurable and self gratifying course. The great news is that according to God’s plans we are destined for that for all of Eternity. The goal is that we will live in blissful harmony forever and all restlessness and yearning will be fulfilled. It will be permanent Resurrection for all who know and Love God, but first we must navigate this beautiful Life in all it’s twists and turns, ups and downs, summers, winters, falls and springs.
As I write this there is a storm brewing outside, the wind is howling and the air is charged with a sense of ‘change’. A big storm is coming and we just raced around to pick up the toys in the yard and bring in cushions and harvest what’s ready in the garden. In a few minutes or a few hours it will subside as all our storms in life and at some point the sun will shine again. Insert here a rousing rendition of Annie’s “The sun will come out tomorrow”. Or not. But you get the idea, “This too shall pass”.
And the question is, whether it’s a hill or a valley, how will you emerge? The Spirit is working and moving through the storms and in the spring-times of renewal in our hearts and in our lives. Our seasons serve as reminders or sometimes the catalyst for the change that allows us to live more fully in God’s will.
We rejoice when it’s the time for rejoicing and we mourn when it’s time for mourning, but in every time we are called to the embrace of God’s most holy desires for us. He will work all for our good and wants us to emerge, again and again, as new creations.
And really what fun would it be if it were always the same season? What fun would it be if we were always smoothly in control and in charge and knew exactly what we were in for?
There will be a time for that though. It will be glorious. It will be everlasting.