I love this time of year because it is the best of both worlds, the two worlds of summer and fall.
There is so much about summer that I love. The schedule is usually different from during the school year. The routine certainly does not provide for the “Lazy, Crazy Days Of Summer” that Nat King Cole once sang about. But there is typically a touch of flexibility in the summer that fall does not offer.
We’re in that marvelous transition time when the days are still warm but the nights offer the feel and even the smell of fall. I love these days even though I know cold nights are not that far away. The seasons eventually separate themselves and claim their rightful time on the calendar.
These seasonal transitions often bring Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, to my mind. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” and then the writer goes into quite a bit of detail about many of the very diverse experiences that make up life.
Life is never one single continuous experience – but many – and they often take the form of opposites, “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and time to uproot.” The writer of this passage then offers a long list of all the experiences that one might expect.
If I could write the script of my own, I would limit my life to a small number of good experiences. I would opt for perennial summer. That is the time when we go to the beach with the family. That is the time when we fire the grill up and enjoy all the traditions of the season.
Yes, I would definitely opt for perennial summer. But life does not work that way. Summer gives yield to fall, and eventually, fall yields to winter and winter turns into spring. I would definitely omit winter. Yes, I know all the reasons why nature must “die back” in winter so that it can be reborn in the spring. But I would still leave out winter.
God, in His wisdom, has created the role of every season, and every one of them has a purpose for its existence. I can try my best to resist the seasons I do not like; but they still roll around and wait for no one.
I can also try to resist the various and diverse experiences of life; but they, too, do not wait for anyone. The key is to seek the purpose and meaning to be found in every season and also in every diverse experience of life.
God never promised us a life of one season nor a life of only the experiences we prefer. One of the many secrets of life is learning to find meaning in all of the seasons and the in activities that go along with them. We can hold out for only those moments which we prefer, but we would miss so much if we tried that approach to life.
Nevertheless, this time of year is so nice. There is still a bit of summer during the day, and the night offers the feel of fall. Having it both ways does not last long. I better enjoy the moments before they pass, which is also true of life.
The Rev. Al Cadenhead leads Providence Baptist Church: firstname.lastname@example.org
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