“To everything there isa season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV
“…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:3 NKJV
Summer is over. As I write these words, I feel a sense of sadness. Summer is my favorite season of the year. What can I say? I like it hot. People seem to be happier in the summer. It’s the season of graduations, summer break, vacations and family reunions. It’s the season of opportunity as high school graduates receive college acceptance letters and college graduates begin their careers. I also enjoy spring. It brings me joy as I listen to birdsong and watch the early flowers break through the warming soil, carpeting the earth with color and perfuming the air with fragrance. I love to watch what appear to be lifeless, naked trees, gradually filling their branches with blossom and lush green foliage, promising fruit for the harvest later in the year. The fall I greet with mixed emotions because while I enjoy the beautiful colors of the turning leaves and the crisp cool mornings that precede ideal temperatures later in the day with little to no humidity, I know that the winter is coming. If you hadn’t figured it out by now, I don’t like winter. To be more specific, I don’t like winter weather. Snow is fine on a post card but I’d rather not have to shovel it.
The good and the bad of seasons is that they change. Our favorite seasons come and go. So even though I don’t like winter, I can live through it with hope, because, at least where I live in Kansas, I know that it will be over sometime soon or more often than not, eventually.
Life consists of seasons: Childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age. These seasons of life hold seasons within themselves: Learning and discovery, work and career, raising children and caring for family, health and sickness, living and dying. There are seasons of life that we enjoy more than others, some we don’t like at all. Sometimes we experience multiple seasons all at the same time. For example; it is not unusual to have marriages, births, unemployment, graduations and dying occurring in the family all at the same time. And while it is true that we want the good things to never end and the sad things to never occur, one thing is true of all of them, they only last for a season and while that is both a reason for joy and sadness, it is always a reason for hope.
Today we will meet people who, like us, are living through the seasons of life. Let us be reminded that seasons, by their very transient nature, are reasons for hope, because just like the old Negro Spiritual says, “Trouble Won’t Last Always”.
Be a blessing.
Mark A. Stoddart, M.Div.
Administrative Director for Spiritual Wellness
Shawnee Mission Medical Center