05 September, 2008

Seasons Change

The past couple of days the weather has cooled off and it seems as if we could have an early autumn this year. Summer has been short, or so it seems, but personally, I love the fall season anyway, so if we have a long fall, I'm cool with that... just as long as it does not mean an early winter. Seriously, I love autumn and I have all my life. I love the brisk mornings and the smell in the air this time of year. I love to get up in the morning and sit out on the porch and drink my coffee on a fall morning. I love the colors of fall. This is my favorite time of year. The problem is, fall means that winter is coming... and if you know me, I HATE winter! But I have come to realize that if I want to enjoy the fall, I have to endure the winter. Winter will then pass and I enjoy my second favorite season, spring. But we all know that spring leads into the long, hot days of summer. They are all necessary. I really do love fall and it may seem awesome to have autumn all the time, but I realize two things:
1) It is an impossibility
2) I'd grow tired of fall if that is all I saw

The truth is, each season is necessary and they play off of, or lead to the next. Each season serves a purpose so the the whole works as it should. And you know, it is the same in our spiritual lives as well. There are seasons of change that blow our way. They are not all fun. We may not enjoy all aspects of each one and we probably have our favorite seasons in the spiritual realm. But if we did not face and endure the winter, then we would not enjoy the renewal of spring. If it were not for the heat of the summer season, then we would not reap the harvest season.

I've noticed over the years that most folks in church reject change. We want to hold onto what is comfortable for us. We like it there. But if we do not change, we will die. We have to learn to recognize and embrace the seasons of change and allow the Holy Spirit to do in our individual lives, as well as in our churches the change that each season brings. If we submit ourselves to and go with the flow of change as the Spirit leads, then we come into the seasons of renewal and the seasons of harvest. But to get to those seasons we must go through the dry, hot and difficult seasons and the cold, lonely seasons first. It is the way this thing works. Those who fail to recognize the necessity of the changing seasons and reject them, begin to die spiritually.

The really interesting thing is that in the spiritual sense, we don't all go through the same spiritual seasons at the same time. So I may be tempted to look at the season you are in and become envious or even jealous. But what I need to do is learn to embrace the season I am in, and not only endure, but allow the Holy Spirit to do in me what is necessary so that as I move into the next season, I am prepared for what comes my way. We need to learn to identify the seasons we are in and yield ourselves to the correction, the strengthening and even the dieing off that is necessary so that renewal come. What season are you in? Do you recognize it? Do you realize the importance of it? Folks, seasons change. The long cold winter comes to an end... but so does the spring and fall. See the whole, not just the season you are in.

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