The following article should have been published in The Border Watch, Mount Gambier’s local paper, today.
The uncertainty of seasons
As I look out the window I am greeted by an unusual sight for the first week of April: lush green grass. Instead of our more usual pattern of Summer weather, with its days of drying northerly winds and small amounts of rain, we’ve experienced cooler days and some torrential downpours. All of which has meant that instead of a sparse and brown appearance our yards and fields look thick and verdant.
Some of us make small talk by asking “What happened to Summer?” as if the last three or four months did not happen. What we mean by such comment is that our experience has not met up with our expectation. For some reason or another we expected the situation to be one way, and to our bemusement it has worked out in another way.
There are times in our lives, ‘seasons’ we could call them, when our situations do not match our expectations. Perhaps when you were a child you yearned to be an adult, expecting that you would be able to do whatever you wanted. Now as an adult you look back on your childhood years as having truly been the time when you were free. Maybe you waited and waited for children to grow and move on so your time could be your own again, but now those children have their own lives and perhaps you are battling illness, infirmity or simply being alone.
The turning of the seasons helps us appreciate that life progresses. The variations and uncertainties of the seasons themselves encourage us not to think that life will progress exactly according to our expectations. The revolving hands on the clock and turning pages of a calendar should offer little comfort to those seeking a more certain future.
We can choose to treat our present season as little more than a ‘transit lounge’; a place we tolerate while waiting for a better circumstance. Then we can find ourselves regretting that we did not engage more fully in our past, and that our future has proved somewhat disappointing.
When Jesus declared that He had come so that we may have life and have it abundantly, He was not telling us that here and now is a transit lounge from which we will depart to a better place. While He did make promises about an eternal future with the Father, Jesus also promised that life now has meaning and purpose.
He invites us to trust in Him and then engage fully in life and relationships today: at home, at school, at work, among family and in the places we dwell. Don’t think of your present circumstance as one to endure until escape is possible. In His power seek help and support from others now, and seek to help and support others until the uncertainly of seasons yields to permanence of eternity.