When I was a little girl, part of my homework was to write in a journal each day. I hated this and usually ended up writing as little as possible, without much meaning, and drawing some pictures to go with it. For some reason, I distinctly remember writing an entry about the seasons. I vehemently insulted spring, asserting that it was by far my least favorite season and drew a picture that was mostly angry scribbles showing how bad it was.
I’m not sure what issue I had with spring, other than that I had to do school, but my opinions in the present day have changed quite a bit (coincidentally, I also like writing now as well). In fact, my love for all seasons has increased. I love the slow pace and quiet of the winter; when the sun goes down early and gets up late, the coziness of the indoors takes on a special significance. I love the reminder in fall that things fade away, but even that can be beautiful. I love the carefree spirit of summer as the sun stays out as long as possible and adventure feels always around the corner. And I love the beauty and livelihood of spring, as rains bring life once again in the form of flowers, and grass, and fruit.
The seasons serve as markers to me in life as well. I know when the cherries on my tree in the yard will ripen and it helps me remember what happened the last spring. I know that even if my habit of running falters around Christmas time, I will run at my best in late winter, as I always do. I know that the summer will be filled with camps and ministry and meeting new people. I know that the autumn will bring a season of rest after a busy summer.
Using the seasons as guideposts for life serves several purposes for me:
- It helps me to see that difficult seasons end and renewal comes. In the fall and winter, things die—or at least they seem dead—but in the spring and summer, they come back to life. In the same way, when I face a tough season of life, whether it be sadness, or stress, or busyness, or anger, I always know that season will end eventually. New life will spring up in me once again. God will revive me, just as he revives the flowers and the trees. In a way, the seasons are a constant reminder of Christ’s death and resurrection. Similarly, the seasons of my life are a reflection of this as well.
- It helps me to look for and spend time with God in different ways in different seasons. One thing I love about the spring is getting to be in nature—hiking, walking through the neighborhood, whatever it may be. These times help me to enjoy the beauty God has created and reflect on his majesty. This is much harder in the winter, but the winter instead reminds me of how he gives us rest. The summer, with people out everywhere and a busy ministry season, reminds me of how he values community. The fall shows me how he prunes off what is dead so that new life may come.
- It helps me to be present in my current season. Knowing that seasons are fleeting and they pass on reminds me to value and enjoy each one—both the external and internal ones. Even in difficult seasons, I want to be present to learn the lessons I can from that season.
Admittedly, though currently (at least in Europe) we are having a beautiful spring, it is also a strange season of life for everyone right now. So, whether this is a happy season or a hard season for you, I hope you will remember that it ends, look for God in the midst of it, and be present as much as you can.