To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
King Solomon’s observation of life and human behavior resulted in numerous conclusions which are undeniably true. This particular truth relates to the fluid nature of the human experience. Nothing remains the same, everything changes and there is an appointed time or season when change will occur. In nature, we identify the progression of time through the changing of the seasons from Spring to Summer, from Summer to Fall and from Fall to Winter. Each comes with its own unique personality and characteristics (colorful flowers, hot sun, falling leaves, frigid temperatures).
Depending upon where one lives in this country, or on this planet, some seasons are more readily seen and experienced than others. South Florida tends to be a perpetual summer experience with a brief autumn respite (in my opinion).
An awareness of the coming change in a season enables us to prepare for it and adjust to its uniqueness. As we age, we also go through seasons of life with characteristics, expectations and responsibilities that are unique to each phase. The one constant, however, is that there will be change. Nothing lasts for too long, and each season fulfills some purpose.
The varying experiences that we face (challenge, struggle, satisfaction, success etc. …) also tend to be seasonal. We would love to park at the particularly pleasant and rewarding experiences of life and live the remainder of our days there, in peace and tranquility. The inevitability of change, though, indicates that we’d do well to be prepared when our situation undergoes a transition to something else. Though we may not appreciate change, especially when it involves moving from something good to something bad, Solomon’s wisdom indicates that each season serves a purpose.
If you are favored with good circumstances (a good season), celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy your life. Be mindful, however, that things may soon change. If you are in a bad situation (season), seek to understand what lessons it may offer for your future benefit, or for others who are around you. Know that it will not last forever, and that you may well come out the better for it. Sometimes the challenges and difficulties of life are necessary to release the hidden greatness, brilliance and potential that lies in all of us. Consider that the caterpillar must go through a period (season) of isolation, darkness and struggle before it emerges as a beautiful butterfly. And oysters must endure a season of agitation and discomfort in order to produce the costly pearl.
Whatever season you may find yourself in, make the most of it by adjusting to its demands and facing it with confidence. Thank God for bringing you to it, or trust Him knowing that He will see you through it. You have not arrived at it by accident. Though you may be incapable of controlling what happens to you, the power to manage your response is all yours. Be grateful to God for His blessing or His mercy in each circumstance. He has brought you to this for a season and for a purpose.
Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302. The church celebrated its 90th anniversary over Labor Day weekend. 1924-2014.