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In his book, “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life,” Chuck Swindoll develops a picturesque theme of how the seasons of our lives seem to follow the seasons of the year. Now, living in North Carolina, a person can experience all four seasons in one week , as many have contested. Such is life in North Carolina, and we all love it — well, maybe.
But as seasons change across the years of our lives, we notice that it takes a little bit of rhythm to experience each season in all its grandeur. Life seems to have an ebb and flow, much like the hours of a day. As a child at Candler Street Elementary, I used to join in as our first grade teacher taught us all to sing a song called “Fill the World With Love.” We sang it every morning, standing beside our desks, after the Pledge of Allegiance and the morning prayer. Yep, the memorable ‘70s, complete with bell-bottom jeans, half-shirts and lots of hair.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but she was teaching us to look at our lives as a moving picture. She probably knew that the most important thing in life to us at the time was going to Burger Chef to get a Fun Meal, which actually was the greatest thing in my, life of course. She was smart — seeing as how I still remember the whole song even though I am in the slightly afternoon time of my life.
Seeing our lives as a moving picture is a great way to take an inventory of what you have been up to in the years God has given you. It also challenges us to take a close look at where we are today. The older we get, the more likely we are to judge our present by our past and only see the things ahead based on the things we’ve seen behind us. Kinda like driving down the road while looking in the rearview mirror. Not sure that is the best idea, by the way. But seeing life as a time of day or as a season may keep us focused on our present opportunities, and maybe in some ways, it may give us a sense of urgency about the most important things in life today.
If you took some time to gaze into the window of your life, going way back to the morning time of life, where would you be? Are you in the morning, noon or evening of Life? If you look at the seasons, are you experiencing the newness of springtime, the lazy somewhat leisurely days of summer, the “mellow contentedness” of autumn or the cold yet Christmas-like days of winter?
Each of these have a special note of joy as well as a hint of harshness, and at times even a mixture of both. It’s interesting to think about which one you are in and even which one you are heading into.
I wonder what we find when we look back. Were we fast? Were we impatient? Were we slow? Were we careful planners, or did we simply live for the day? Did we value people and love them, or did we tend to use them to achieve our personal goals? Did we seek the Lord in our decision-making? Did we just do what we had to do to get by? Oh, how we see the past with 20/20 vision.
The answers to those questions may give us an insight into what is most important in the season or hour we are in today, and we can use these thoughts as a bit of a springboard into our plans for today.
While our past might inform our concept of our present situation, it doesn’t necessarily dictate how it must play out. As a matter of fact, some of the decisions you make today will inform your future hours and seasons. What a great opportunity today holds!
The scriptures are full of truths about our hours and seasons, and I have one passage to share about how to approach every “today” of the rest of your life: Proverbs 3: 1-12. This passage includes two familiar verses that succinctly state a process for living today the way we are designed to.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”
Take some time to read the whole passage, though, and you will gain some powerful insights on life.
I am guessing you will soon spend some time entertaining thoughts of your current hour or season of life. If you do, why not take time to write some things down? Are you a poet? Why not write a poem? Are you one to keep a journal? Why not journal your thoughts on your “journey” of life? Are you a letter writer? Why not write a letter to your future self? Tell your future self all about what you have learned in the hours and seasons of life so far. Are you a thinker? Why not think things over and apply a strong measure of scriptural truth to your thoughts?
All in all, I think it will do us some good to see just where we are in terms of hours or seasons of life. That’s good. Now why not look up the song “Fill the World With Love” on YouTube and stand by your chair and sing along?
Then go get a Happy Meal — and bring me one.
Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and firstname.lastname@example.org.