[Originally published in the Monroe News on January 26, 2024]
Given that winter has found us in full force with days of sub-zero wind chills and even a few inches of snow on the ground it is time to talk about seasons. Here in Michigan we are well acquainted with the four seasons of weather. In fact sometimes the joke goes that in Michigan, you might be fortunate enough to see all four in a single day. If you don’t like the weather, just wait, it’ll be different in an hour.
As I write this the wind chill outside is -7 degrees. Now don’t hate me for this, but I love the seasons. I even love the winter. So long as I have the right layers, I don’t even mind the cold. Its not that I relish difficult things or the challenge of survival. I just like the differing perspectives the seasons give. I made the comment the other day, do you know the one nice thing about the temperature being below zero? It sure makes those 30-degree days suddenly feel warm.
Isn’t that how it works with many things in life? With the many seasons other facets of our life go through? We face ups and downs. Nobody really likes the downs, but they’re going to happen nonetheless. And when they do happen they often have a way of changing our perspective and making the “ups” of life all the more sweet.
As the years of our lives add up and we take a moment to reflect back I think we’ll find our lives have been full of seasons. There was the “season” of childhood. The season of our teenage and high school years. The season of college. Perhaps you enjoy the season of being a newlywed. Maybe there was the season of having a newborn baby, and so on we could go. Maybe you’re now even working through the season of retirement.
When we’re in the midst of each of these seasons we often wish to be elsewhere. If you’re the teenager you can’t wait to get to college or to get married. If you’re in the season of your “40’s” you’re probably wishing to be that teenager again. If you’re in the “empty nest” season of life you’re probably wishing to be back in the raising toddlers season of life.
The thing is, we don’t need to always be looking elsewhere and away from our current season of life. Embrace it for what it is. Take the good from it the best you can. Sure its uncomfortably cold outside right now. Nobody likes frozen fingers. Yet the other morning was wonderful and beautiful when the light fluffy snow had the trees covered and all was pleasant and calm outside. Maybe you’re not enjoying your high school years at the moment. Homework isn’t anyone’s cup of tea. Yet you’re also in that age of constantly learning and making new discoveries about life and yourself. You’re constantly meeting new people and changing relationships. Someday you’ll look back on parts of this season and miss it.
Wise King Solomon wrote about the seasons of life in Ecclesiastes 3 in Holy Scripture. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die … a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Eccl. 4:1, 4)” The seasons of the earth and the seasons of our lives are going to come and there’s nothing we can do to stop this tidal wave of change. Who you are is truly the cumulative summary of all the seasons. You wouldn’t be who you are if you found a way to skip seasons or to stop change altogether. So take the difficult seasons as they come (we’re looking at you winter season) and enjoy and revel in the beautiful seasons when they arrive (hello springtime). Give God the glory in each and every day and enjoy the words of the Psalmist: “This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:23-24)”
To God be the glory.