Many authors have described the seasons of life as a model that reflects virtually every aspect of human existence. The seasons are cyclical changes in life with temporary but unique attributes.
What Are the Seasons of Life?
As analogies for the various phases of growth we endure in aging, the seasons represent steps along the way – paths we navigate – toward a destiny that may or may not be part of a conscious, predetermined plan.
Another factor that may, or may not be part of our conscience, is the role being played by our Creator. Who, or what determines the season we’re in, or for how long? In contemplation of the physical characteristics of each season, it’s not always obvious the way those elements can define analogous phases we experience in life.
Summer is often seen as the season of opportunity. We reap the harvest of the seeds that we planted in the spring. Hopefully we’re comforted by the success and rewards we realize.
Fall is a guarded time of preparation for the things we may lose during the difficult times of winter. For many of us, it is a time for winding down and taking note of lessons we learned in the sunshine of summer.
We often resist the cold of winter anticipating the changes that come with pain or loss. We may experience some depression carried over from fall. It is a time to lay low while conserving resources.
Spring comes eventually with signs of opportunity. Active growth is evident in plants and animals. As we plant seeds in anticipation of new life, “hope springs eternal.”
The seasons of life are cyclical like our circadian rhythm. While we may experience similar aspects of the seasons, we don’t all cycle through them at the same time, or for the same duration.
I like to believe that God has a hand in determining the landscape of our seasons. Some of the experiences we endure can be his divine participation in our preparation for lessons we’ll learn.
But at times he is shaping our character, perhaps steering us toward virtues like love and acceptance. We are touched by aspects of different seasons simultaneously as we encounter cornerstones in life.
3 Tips for Rolling with the Seasons of Life
As we encounter the seasons of our lives, we’re affected in different ways emotionally and spiritually. As a result, it’s not uncommon to get “stressed out!” It’s helpful to apply three simple noteworthy tools:
- Keep God at the center of everything. This is a good rule for anything life throws our way.
- Reach out to family and loved ones. Loving relationships are the secret to all things.
- Do something special for “you.“ If you’re not caring for you, it’s difficult to help anyone else.
Rolling with the Seasons
Recently my wife and I walked through a cornerstone with our three sons. We experienced some fall and winter followed by a sprinkle of spring.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, our three sons make up the band Before You Exit. Recently, they moved to Los Angeles to be near writers and key persons in the music industry, as the band has evolved. They’re continuing their college studies online.
We experienced the melancholy of fall along with the dead of winter as we became “empty-nesters” all at once. My wife and I certainly found it to be a time for trusting in God’s plan. We’re reminded that God has no grandchildren.
Long ago, having received the counsel of their two parents, both sober in recovery from the effects of alcohol, they heard first-hand accounts about how decisions come with consequences.
By the grace of God, they are now experiencing the new growth of spring as they plant seeds for their future success. However, they have not lived lives avoiding the pain of winter. They recently survived the fatal shooting of their dear friend Christina Grimmie, one among many trials. It will remain one of the numerous experiences to shape their growth and character.
Friends Endure Winter
Meanwhile, close friends of ours are planning to visit their 21-year-old son in residential treatment for the disease of addiction – alcohol and drugs. They are experiencing the severe pain of winter as they pray for their son to awaken to the promise of spring and the successes of summer.
Like any of us, they are powerless to manipulate the seasons and must trust in God and his plan. He never promised smooth sailing though we can trust in his love, support, and guidance.
By their nature, seasons are temporary. Like all diseases, the disease of addiction is part of life in a fallen world. But the Lord promises we can overcome the troubles of the world. And he will bring good from the pains of our toils.
And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
We pray that our friends will come through their temporal seasons of life better than ever, stronger having endured the change. We also pray that perhaps their relationships with their son will realize growth beyond all expectations.
God wants our happiness and joy. And we appreciate so much more on the other side of a painful winter. We’re faithful that the ice will melt.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:…… Ecclesiastes 3:1.
Photo credit to daughterly design.wordpress and pixabay.