This morning our youngest and I attended his junior high orientation (wasn’t he just going to kindegarten last week???). For him and us – and thousands of families across the country – summer yields to fall. There are still some days left and Labor Day is weeks away. But summer is ending and autumn is looming. Which gladdens my heart since fall is my favorite time of the year.
The seasons come and go, begin and end, regardless of our will or want. The rhythms of the year continue without concern for anyone’s convenience or preparation. We plan and respond but don’t control or manage when they come.
For much of my spiritual (and human) life I have functioned under the assumption that I am in control. Even in the seasons of life when I am seeking God’s direction and attempting to yield to the Divine Will, I am the one who yields and seeks. I wonder today if that isn’t quite right. Just as there are seasons of life and of the year, so are there seasons of the spirit. And they may not have much – anything – to do with how I respond or what I am seeking or planning.
Certainly the dryness in my spiritual journey is sometimes my own doing (or not doing). My obedience to God’s will influences how I experience and perceive what life throws at me. But just as every year contains a winter, so every spiritual journey has times of cold and death. Every autumn brings a marvelous transition from summer… every high season of the spirit also transitions to a time of calm and reflection and harvest.
Jesus says in Acts 1:7 “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority.” He speaks here to the disciples about his promised return but I think his words apply here as well. I am seeking to discern what season of the spirit God is bringing now or ending now or continuing in me until its work is done. What season does your journey of faith find you experiencing?