We were in Charleston, SC several weeks ago, spending time with family and attending the wedding of our youngest niece. The weather was still nice and once the festivities had ended, we were ready to get back home. We ended up driving straight through for fifteen hours or so, arriving home near midnight – but we were home…
And so began the push to get ready for winter. Since the weather has been so nice this fall, we were late in getting things started. It was almost two weeks ago that we finally started our push. With Halloween and several church things we were involved in, time kind of got away from us.
When I was a young boy, my maternal grandfather loved this time of year and instilled the same feelings in me. We would sit out back, pulling the annuals, raking leaves and then sitting by the fire talking about God and the time of the harvest. It was Grandpa who taught me that God designed the seasons – a time to plant, then the summer of growth, then the reaping of what you sow – and then the time of rest during the winter.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t have work to do in anticipation of the time of hibernation. There are hoses to bring in to avoid freezing of pipes, pulling of the annuals to let the earth rest and rejuvenate, packing up the summer furniture, preparing the lawn and the perennials to get properly fed for their next growth season and a host of other jobs to stay current with the normal upkeep of the yard.
This year, that included the replacement of an outdoor fixture near the dog run, cleaning the grills for the winter season before it gets too cold, preparing the smoker for the fall season when we make most of our beef jerky, pulled pork and, this year, a second turkey for Thanksgiving. We also have an outdoor fountain that needed to be disassembled before the winter freeze and we still need to test out the fire pit as the nights get cooler.
Even though there are an endless number of tasks to be worked on, nature and God don’t wait for us to complete our chores. And while time marches on, it is up to us to prepare for the inevitable change of seasons.
Grandpa kept a Bible next to the side of his bed, usually marked somewhere in the book of Judges. But when we were out in the yard, watching the burning pile, talking about God and creation, he used to quote Ecclesiastes, the Old Testament book written by Solomon, the son of King David. King Solomon was the one who built the temple, with the funds raised by his father – and Solomon pondered the various aspects of life – what was wise and what was foolish.
Among other truths, he reminded us that there is nothing new under the sun, and in some of his wisdom, made famous in a song by the Byrds released during 1965, called Turn, Turn, Turn, there is a season for everything. And that brings us to our famous verse for tonight. Solomon starts out the third chapter of Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, telling us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…”
That’s where we are now in the cycle of the seasons – a time to uproot… My encouragement this evening is that God wants each of us to follow the rhythm of the seasons in our own lives. We are young and just starting to grow, then make it through the growth season of summer, finally coming of age and able to harvest in the fall – until we take a break and rejuvenate during the winter. The cycle begins anew each year and there is a reminder that as the seasons change, we mature as well – ever wiser each time we turn the calendar to another year. My prayer is that we will all continue to learn the times for everything from God through the words of wise King Solomon, using nature and, of course, God Himself, as teachers. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…