Autumn is my favourite season. I love the chill in the morning or evening air just as I love to be surprised by the unexpected but always welcome warmth of an afternoon autumn sun. I love the earth’s colours in fall mirrored in cozy fall fashion. I love the ease with which one can daily function in temperate fall climates. Indeed, the movement of life seems somehow easier in the fall. Of course, life is not always if ever truly easy. Life ebbs and flows. There are gains and losses in life, joys and sorrows. One quickly learns that the light of dawn cannot exist without the dark of night.
Seasonally, fall is a time of death. Farmers harvest crops that they have brought to fruition throughout the year. Trees shed leaves. Plump, green grasses wither, turn brown and die as the earth’s mantle awaits its cloak of white snow that will incubate new life. When the timing is perfect, that new life will spring forth from the rejuvenated soils. Ironically, it is in dying that the earth restores itself so that it can be reborn.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 addresses the seasons of an individual’s life as it explores the meaning of life:
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Each season in nature brings with it unique pursuits that are allotted by God. So too the seasons in a man’s life are determined by God. The passage says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God has an overall plan for each of our lives. God brings about His purpose in His own time.
Though at times it is difficult to do so, we are called to acknowledge each day as a gift from God. We are to accept that God has a reason for all things, and His timing is perfect unto heaven. We are ignorant of God’s timing, just as we are unaware of God’s plan for each of our lives, but we are called to trust in God’s sovereignty. In fact, a life only has meaning when one relies on God’s wisdom, timing, and goodness.
Though everyone desires to be happy and sets about seeking happiness, securing happiness on our own is as elusive as the wind. Instead of pursuing pleasure, we should allow God’s peace and joy to take up residence in our hearts. Instead of chasing the things that we feel will make us cheerful, we need to find contentment in God’s love despite any intangible circumstances.
It is time to do so.