The rhythm of the seasons

Thirty days has September, April, JUNE, and November; all the rest have thirty-one, except for February which has twenty-eight except on leap year when it has twenty-nine.  The rhythm works perfect except for February, there’s always February.  I think it’s not my favorite.  Do you have a favorite month?  Mine tends to be some various one that I’m not currently in for some reason.  I was feeling a little blue last Friday night so I watched a Hallmark channel Christmas movie.  Not even kidding.  I don’t always watch Hallmark Christmas movies, but when I do, it’s June.

I do like how long the days are with the summer solstice and all.  The last hour when the sun is slipping toward the horizon and sometimes even with clouds there’s a golden glow.  It’s sit out on the deck weather, with a favorite beverage – open to interpretation – and converse about the large questions of life . . . meaning, purpose, did Gibbs know his boat was going to blow up on the last episode of NCIS for the season???

ALL the weather people are promising a gorgeous weekend for July 4th and at least with all the rain, wherever it is legal to do fireworks, there shouldn’t be any risk of fires in the greater Kansas City area.  We can see the CBAC fireworks display from the front porch.  The neighborhood usually fills with cars, I’ve thought about running a sermonade stand.  Free lemonade WITH a short sermon/conversation about the beatitudes.  We continue to talk about how to take the good news of Jesus outside the walls of the church, just sayin’.  I said something to my neighbors about it, they suggested a serma-wine and beer garden as likely more popular and way more marketable.  They even volunteered to help, it’s great to have generous neighbors.

July and August seem a little like January and February to me.  The big holidays are over, it seems like the heat and humidity and/or the ice and cold depending, are never going to end, and people get grumpy, o.k. people meaning sometimes me.  It’s about the time I always think borrowing money to put in a swimming pool is the best idea ever.  No one’s ever agreed with me.  Or in the winter that borrowing money to purchase a home next to Oprah’s in Hawaii is a good idea.  No bank’s ever agreed with me, tho I have brought laughter and frivolity to their day in the asking.

The wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”. . . turn, turn, turn (see “The Byrds”).  I always wonder how people in San Diego make that real for themselves.  I think living somewhere that is perpetually 72-75 degrees would be terrific, then I think about how much I love October and November; how every year I pray for light snow to be falling just as we come out of midnight Christmas Eve; how the first warm days of April and May remind me of new life and the return of warmth and being outside.  I’m sure the “seasons” of life happen in San Diego and Hawaii, simply with a different context of understanding.  Maybe people in San Diego and Hawaii wonder how we tolerate the deepest cold and the hottest heat and probly figure we deal with our “seasons” of life, simply with a different context of understanding from theirs.  Does that mean the grass is always greener, that months we’re not in are always the month that we prefer, that in winter we want it to be summer and in summer we want it to be winter, well, maybe not winter, but mid-autumn would be nice?

I have come to believe very deeply that the words of Ecclesiastes have deep truth – that there are seasons for all purposes under heaven. We may say time passes too quickly or that sometimes it can’t go quickly enough.  I think in the reality of God’s wise economy, the rhythm of the seasons when we can and even when we can’t see them clearly, have a sacredness that encompasses and embraces expansive purpose and/or purposes.  In different seasons we may be highly productive and others we are encouraged to be fallow; we may find ourselves in deep or less deep sorrow and in other times filled to overflowing with joy; there may come times of isolation and depression and a path that moves us toward community and healing.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (not in the song by “The Byrds”) says, “God has made everything suitable for its time; moreover God has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”  That last part is both frustrating and a blessing.  I’m a like-to-know-ahead-of-time person as well as a figurer-outer of things small and large, but God knows if we were in all the knowing, we’d be easily overwhelmed and life and the world would lack surprise, wonder, and the gift of choosing faith over fear. For me it’s a matter of continuous working on coming to peace with living in the not-knowing everything from beginning to end.  

I pray a minute of grace for you this week that the memories of summers past enliven your spirit and the promise of Autumns and Christmases ahead reawaken your anticipation.  And that the purpose of the season of life you and we’re in right now bring blessing and peace!  I’ll let you know if I get the sermonade stand up and running by Independence Day, you may want to stop by . . . or not! *wink