When God calibrated movement into the universe He instructed the lights to signal night and day. What is more, they were to serve as "...signs for the seasons..." (Genesis 1:14). So, we understand the seasons and how they influence life in most places. Here in Charleston, SC, they say we have two seasons: summer and February. Still, around the world most people are experiencing late fall and anticipating the thermal shift when winter comes in a few days.
Seasons are a metaphor too. Googling "seasons" may give you a picture like the one above, a literal spread of the four seasons of the year, as laced by God into creation. You might just as well find of picture of sports uniforms, the seasons of a man's life---football, basketball, baseball, soccer, deer, dove, turkey, and all the rest. Look up the street and you'll be reminded that it is the season, the Christmas celebration and the time when all the gawdy neighbors worship Clark Griswold and haul out all the festive decorations. Ho ho ho, 'tis the season, as they say.
Hang out with the generations and discover the seasons of life, especially if there's a retired person or two in the mix. It's just another measure of how we treat the seasons thing. But, there's a common thread linking them. You see, the seasons, regardless of the context, are about times of transition. They define how the world turns in almost every venue or life circumstance. In the weather, sports, or the passing of life, the seasons mean that things are in a constant state of flux. No, more plainly, everythinng is constantly changing. God wired it into His creation, a world on the move, a clock that ticks, a calendar that moves forward, cells and synapses and neurons and transmitters flashing the genius of God in intricate time. The trouble is, most of us despise and fear change.
Coach Paul, the missionary and church planter, wrote to his protege Timothy about the seasons. He wrote, "...be ready in season and out of season..." (2 Timothy 4:2). The immediate context of his words were evidently about Timothy's assignment to "Preach the word...", the preceding phrase. There's more, however, at least for me.
In my mind he's giving Timothy strategic advice for serving a moving, transitory world from within a moving, transitory body. His counsel is to be prepared in every season, whether the weather seasons, the calendar year in that part of the world, or in the passing of life. Circumstances change and shift with rising of the sun. Everything is in motion. We are to be ready in them all.
This thought resonates loudly to me right now as I'm expereincing the first weeks of retirement, a new chapter, a new season. Still, there's more. It must mean further that God has something for us in all the seasons. Why else would we need to be ready all the time? It is an amazing and encouraging truth to know He has something for us in every season. It is the only rationale for being instructed to stay ready.
So, it's Christmas. There's an electricity about this season that seems to surpass all the others. The pulse picks up at every level---my own, the traffic, the buzz, the shopping, parties, fellowship, office rituals, the children, and everything is turned up a notch. I'm wondering what the world would be like if that same energy and force was as visible in all the other seasons too.
Merry Christmas! 'Tis the season. Yesterday in Charleston people were wearing shorts and flip flops. I mean, it's not February. But, it is the season. Light it up! And, carry it into the next season, whateverthat is!