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The Beauty of Seasons

by Anita Miles

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:1

We’ve just entered my favorite part of the year in South Georgia. Over the last 2 weeks, the weather has been absolutely amazing! Mornings have been crisp and cool. The sitting spells on the back porch have been the stuff that dreams are made of! And the afternoons have actually been cooperative to the point one can walk outside without the firm belief that every square inch of you will completely melt away in the muggy heat. The coastal summer heat where we reside is dreadful! It always amazes me the amount of people who come here to vacation and spend hours on end outside touring our beautiful city in the heat of the summer. Nothing about that sounds remotely fun to me. Guess you can tell that I’m not a summer kind of girl…

I’m sure if we were to pass around the surveys, there would be a multitude of reasons why we each have an opinion on what our favorite season is and what the reasons are for our belief. I happen to love to see the various styles and shapes of the pumpkins, scarecrows, mums, and hay bales that come out at this time of the year...then leading into the early placement of my Christmas tree. Yes - I’m one of those crazy people… But the feels of fall take me back to those hayrides full of memories down the old country roads in deep south Alabama - being pulled by tractors and full of songs and laughs plenteous enough to last until the next year. And fall church picnics and fish frys and snickerdoodle cookies. The list just goes on and on. If it were up to me, I would make the fall and winter season last forever! I guess all good things must come to an end…

But as much as I love it, stuck in the middle of the fall are the blooming of these irritating little beasts called goldenrod and hay. And in my region of the US, there is this thing called “hurricane season.” Yeah - that’s no fun at all… Our most memorable evacuation was when my son was all of 3 weeks old. I won’t even elaborate there…

But I’m confident that just as much as I love the fall and winter, there’s someone who dislikes it as much as I love it. But in the winter, there’s the sights and smells of Christmas and the barren trees. And all the things that go with that! I could go for DAYS about all the things I love about Christmas, but you haven’t got the time for that - I PROMISE!! But back to the one who dislikes winter - take for instance, those who has to deal with that mushy white stuff they call snow and ice for days and weeks on end… I’m sure there’s a love / hate relationship there too. And then there’s the fact that holidays sometimes bring horrible pain with them from the relationships that have been lost - whether to death or betrayal of some kind.

And then there’s spring. Oh Beautiful spring! The trees begin to clothe themselves again. The colors of the flowers begin to burst forth in full bloom! And along with all it’s beauty and blooming things, there’s that wretched little yellow stuff called pollen. Heaven help us all!!

Are you starting to get the picture? In every season there are these little nuances that go along with the things we love and we just somehow have to tolerate them. But the good that we get out of each one seems to balance out when the bad gets tucked up in there. Kinda like a state of equilibrium. Balance. There seems to be a brilliant writer I remember who was once inspired to remind us of the balance that must come with the seasons. His essay went something like this:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, 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 keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Seasons… just as they happen in the yearly orbit of our planet, so the seasons come and go in our little worlds. Times that bring us great joy balanced with losses that we would rather not suffer nor imagine. Times that we laugh until it hurts, only to turn around and cry until our eyes can’t make another tear. Times that are spent tirelessly (and sometimes painfully) investing in our children’s growth and development, to turn around a few years later and stare eyeball to eyeball with some amazing humans that have turned out to be productive members of society. And so it goes.

The wonderful thing about seasons that we have to appreciate is that they will pass - if we will allow them.

The problem with seasons of life is that some people get stuck in the rut of pain and won’t allow the next season to come. I have watched a lot of “stuff” happen in my lifetime. I’ve seen some incredible giants of our faith live through trials that would consume the normal human soul. However, I firmly believe it is the greatest testament to the Christian faith when God can allow pain and the bitter seasons into our lives without us cursing Him and us maintaining a constant faith in His goodness.

If you’re in the season of life that is bringing pain, I encourage you to hold on just a little longer. It will eventually give way to dancing and joy - if you will allow life to balance itself out. If you’re caught in a particularly rough season and seem to be hanging on to pain or loss that is prohibiting your growth as a person and a Christian, I dare you to let it go. Are you isolating yourself and cuddling up to your grief? What if your time of brokenness has come to a place of transition and God is ready to build you up again!

It may be that God would like to take you into a new season of life and it could possibly bring you more joy than you ever imagined. Someone wise once said, “Change with the seasons of life - don’t try to stretch a season into a lifetime!” Seasons… Oh the Beauty and the Bother of them!

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