Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Embracing and Releasing the Seasons of Life


The cold slapped my face as I headed to the car this morning. By lunch time tiny flakes started to fall. It’s still October. Granted, it is the last day, but still October! Which begs the question, are these flakes a trick or treat? It depends on our perspective. I think it’s today’s treat ─ pretty, white, window dressing. Yet, I also hope tomorrow the trickster melts it away, banishing the overnight freezes. That’s what the weather guessers report, “Tomorrow’s high 60. Lows for the next five days in the 40’s and 77 for a high come Sunday.” I hope they’re right. I’m not ready for winter.

Eleven pots of French lavender sit by my sliding glass door waiting for autumn’s return. I hope tomorrow will be the day I settle them into their new bed, and their roots will have time to cozy under the downy dirt before the next freeze.

As a child I viewed seasons forming a pie chart, cut in quarters, each forth a different, distinct color. Now, I realize the changing of seasons is not like that at all.

I watch in wonder as snow crystals form white lace on top of my pink hollyhock. She put out her petticoats late this year. The seasons dance.

           Today Winter cut in. With his icy grip around Fall’s waist he tats a fringe of white lace on Autumn’s gown. His sharp wind blows her golden skirt off reveling the branches of her hooped slip. The last bit of Summer’s green slumps beneath the weight of Winter’s powdery step.

Indeed, the seasons twirl, and curtsy, swing, and bow. They embrace and release like four square dancers under the stars that direct their rhythm. How beautifully time flows, if I don’t panic at its passing. But I often do.

I linger too long, then rush to catch up. I give into the anxiousness of being behind, being too late. I long for a different season, failing to appreciate the one I’m in.

A recent season of busyness crowded out my writing. 

“When do I write, Lord? Will I ever get back to my book?”

Then His still small voice breaths a reminder to my soul, “Seasons.”

 And I am invited into the dance.

“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 plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted. . .

What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 and 9-11.

I confess, I trip more than dance with the seasons of life. When I was young and single, I coveted the season of matrimony. Now, on rare occasions, I look back with fondness at of the simplicity of living alone. I remember the exhaustion of days with infants and toddler, and how I longed for older children who would be more self-sufficient. When my kids got older the challenge of teens made an empty nest look inviting. Most days I do enjoy my empty nest, but there are days I really miss the activity of kids in the house.  I need to teach my heart to embrace the season God puts me in, remembering it will change soon enough.

Today I write. In another season a book may emerge. Tomorrow I'll plant lavender. Come spring fragrant flowers will bloom. I will dance with these seasons, and God will make each beautiful in its time.

What season are you in? What season do you long for? How will you dance with the Lord of seasons? How is He teaching you to trust that He makes all things beautiful in their time?

Dear Father,
Please, teach us to embrace and release the seasons of our life with wisdom and grace. Let us enjoy the dance of time under the stars you set in place to direct it all. Teach us to exhale our anxieties and inhale deeply Your perfect peace.