Bright sunshine, no clouds, a hint of a breeze…. It’s 46° outside. I can live with that. In fact, I adore this weather. Cold isn’t as difficult to deal with when the sun is shining. I think it got down in the mid-30’s last night (Fahrenheit, not Celsius!), which is fabulous weather to snuggle up with the pups under flannel sheets and a quilt. If the plants could take it and still produce flowers and fruits and grains and veggie, it wouldn’t bother me to have those low temps every night and 60’s and 70’s every day so the pesty bugs would die. (I don’t like bugs). Wouldn’t that mean we lived in an almost perfect world? Of course, that almost perfect world would also mean that everyone, every single human, would have a warm, soft bed to go to every night, and food so their bellies were full. It would mean that all of the violent, evil people were neutralized, too…..
I think I must be dreaming of heaven. When God created the seasons, He filled them with beautiful symbolism. Spring is new life. Plants are bursting out with beauty, and the animals are filling the planet with their offspring. Babies and flowers and newness, purity, are everywhere. Even in the big cities, grasses poke up through sidewalks, trees leaf out, and birds are busy singing. He created Summer to give everything time to mature, to provide us with the foods we need to survive. Summer is also a time of trials, with too much water or not enough water; with heat that can be both pleasant and devastating. Fall is full with harvest and preparation for the coming Winter. It’s a time to be out and savor the beauty of our earth, the smell and taste and feel of the air around us; a time we prepare what we will need to survive the period of rest for the earth. Finally, Winter is a time to slow down, to relax with the fruits of our endeavours; a time of reflection and contemplation of our lives. It’s the time we need to reconnect with loved ones; to enjoy times with friends and family that we neglected in our times of labor. Then Springs comes again, and the cycle repeats.
I think it’s important to look at the seasons and apply them to our lives. Physically, it easy to see the correlation. Spring is birth and childhood, Summer is young adulthood, finding our way into productivity. Fall is mature adulthood, where we are preparing for retirement and learning to savor our lives. Old age is like Winter, with time for reflection. It should be a time where we can enjoy looking back on our lives and sharing the lessons we have learned with the next generation. Spiritually, I believe our personal Fall and Winter are the times we need to be contemplating our God and perhaps evaluating our relationship with Him. Our personal seasons don’t have a set timeline. Some don’t make it past their Spring because they have died young. Others go out in a blaze, like a fire consuming a forest in the hottest summer. If we make it to our Fall, and I am one of many baby boomers who believed I would have died years ago, some of us find ourselves woefully unprepared for our Winter.
Like the ant and the grasshopper, some are ready for their Winter because they focused on their goal to be ready, and many are like the grasshopper, having spent their productive years playing and jumping around. I was a grasshopper, unable to settle down, too busy having “fun” to focus on anything as unfullfilling as work. Now I am spending my Fall working frantically to prepare. I could be worried to the point of making myself ill, or I can choose to believe that my God is more powerful than anything and place my trust in Him. I choose to believe what Jesus said:
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly FATHER feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NLT)
Do I believe that this means I can just sit back and expect to be taken of; that I shouldn’t be working and preparing for Winter? Not at all! Jesus said not to worry about every day life. He never says not to work. Instead, through Paul’s letter, we are told not to be lazy and to work.
“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident Hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When GOD’S ’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:11-13 NLT
It’s pretty clear that it is worry we are to avoid, not work. Seems to me that 46° is a beautiful temperature to go to work in….