Monday, September 24, 2018


To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under
heaven (Ecc. 3:1)
Stopping by a local discount store, I was struck instantly by the various merchandise displays.  Within only an aisle or two,  I came across Fourth of July picnic supplies; Fall pumpkins, and Christmas decorations all ready for purchase!  It was hard to know what to focus on first!  What a confusing mess!

It made me think about the seasons in a human's life. You know God is so thoughtful and orderly. He designed each one of us with a specific purpose and time frame to fulfill His plan. Furthermore, He did it with such wisdom and loving care.

Each season of life is unique with a special beauty about it.  Within its intricacies and limitations, it develops and matures us for leaving one and gracefully entering the next one.  However, we tend to miss the glory of God's handiwork by either rushing into one season too soon or lingering longer than we should in another!

Read this familiar passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

There are 28 different seasons illustrated in this text!  More than enough to capture the essence of our human existence.  But in our foolish vanity we refuse to embrace the normal ebb and flow of each season and its valuable lessons opting instead to manipulate them for our own selfish desires.

It saddens me to see adult women in one season trying too hard to fit into a season they left long ago.
I'm all for personal expression at any age.  And there's something quite inspirational about a man or woman who stays active and vibrant as they age. But this does not mean that every fashion trend is appropriate for you.  You don't have to dress down or dowdy to be attractive but as an older woman once told me; just because you can get in it....doesn't mean you should wear it! 

Men too, suffer from this cultural phenomenon.  We've all seen the jet black hair and the gray mustaches that don't match. Shirts opened to the navel with gold chains over salt and pepper chest hairs.  Speedos at the swimming pool barely visible under pot bellies and ads for pills promising more stamina and virility. No one it seems is content with being who they are and the consumer industry is making big bucks off of it all!

Staying seasonally appropriate has benefits with long range effects we might not have thought about.  It teaches the following generations how to transcend the ravages of aging in an emotionally healthy and spiritual way.  Robbed of the season of innocence, our children are sexualized early, their minds focused on adult things. This makes it difficult for parents to train and mold them into the moral, productive individual God desires (Proverbs 22:6) .

 Even if we're blessed to get them through the adolescent and teen seasons, there is a tendency for them to languish there.  They do not want to take on the accountability and responsibilities of the adult season and become independent.  Think about it!  Why should they? They now have parents who have become adult playmates with lots of money! 

America has a long way to go in the respect they show seasoned adults!  Perhaps if we caught up with other countries, we wouldn't find it so hard to embrace our seasons:  In Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea to get older is to be revered, respected, and to become an honored member of the family and society.  In fact, in China the elderly can sue their children for financial and emotional support.  In Scotland older citizens are sought after mentors, and founts of wisdom.  They are influential and do not have to fight to be heard. Regardless, the greatest motivation one can have to appreciate the gift of years is to remember that if you're not satisfied with the season you're in, God's love is big enough and long enough to follow you into the next one.  You'll always have a place and a plan in His kingdom!


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