Seasons of Life and Rhythms of Living

[The LORD said,] “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” – Genesis 8:22

Cactus Close-up | Fredericksburg, Texas | April 2021

I’m still trying to find my rhythm these days. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not a totally bad thing. But there are unusual challenges these early weeks of retirement. Travel is great, but it imposes its own rhythm. Visiting family and friends is wonderful, but those wonderful people can play havoc on someone who needs his space and alone time. This is a season of new rhythms for Diane and me. Maybe we’re imposing our rhythms on our friends and family as well. 

God has created the world with its own rhythm. Here, God speaks of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. These are wonderful gifts of God. Consider how we yearn for this. We take trips to the northeast to see the fall colors. We trek to the Colorado mountains for skiing – or for respite from the summer heat. We look forward to the budding trees and flowers of spring. We make our trip to the beach in summer. Seasons are wonderful blessings.

Seasons also occur in our lives. We have a season of growing and learning. We struggle with the season of adolescence. We often strive through seasons of earning and family building. The seasons of grand parenting, and retirement bring their own special rhythms. We watch our loved-ones enter the final seasons of their lives knowing we will one day enter that season as well. Thank God for seasons! Thank God we’re not stuck in adolescence! Praise God for the quiet seasons, the peaceful seasons, and – if we take Romans 5 seriously – even the seasons of struggle.

Take someone out of these rhythms and watch out! Not enough sleep? She may be grumpy. Too much sleep? He may lapse into perpetual lethargy. Never outgrow adolescence? Misery surrounds you and infects the people closest and most loved. Get stuck in childhood and you’ll never have enough toys at any price.

Seasons also provide new and different opportunities to love God and our neighbor. We can help others succeed during the seasons of high productivity. We can offer great wisdom in the seasons of late adulthood. Youthful exuberance can keep grandparents young. We’re living that reality just now with our grandchildren. 

God promises that these seasons and rhythms will not cease until the Very End. This is a good reminder for me just now. Whatever challenges I may face are not eternal in nature. Whatever blessings I experience must be enjoyed in the moment. Moreover, I do best when I follow certain rhythms. Morning devotions. Daily hygiene. Weekly worship. Regular exercise. 

A friend once offered this advice: Withdraw weekly: that’s a call to public worship. Retreat regularly: that’s a reminder that times of solitude with God will renew our souls. Abandon annually: that reminds us that the world does not rest on our shoulders; God has things well in hand. 

Click here, or on the podcast player below to listen to an audio version of this blog post.

  1. As I read this very fine reflection, I received a text from a somewhat distant but good friend. I was reminded instantly, again this week of another of life’s rhythms. Twenty years ago, during a 6 week period I would occasionally show up at her home to just escape to solitude in her big chair. My mom was actively dying but a sister had tag-teamed me and I had to try to attend to my family. I needed quiet. I am one also who needs alone time. It was a hard, hard time. Grief is the rhythm of which I speak. Her mom had just passed into Jesus’ arms. I too need morning devotions. You have provided this for several years now. Today, your post provided me with God’s goodness and rhythm to share with my friend. Thank you again for your faithfulness to lean on God’s Word and share Jesus among us, his people. God Bless you … Sondra

    • Amen. God is good and his rhythms are seasons are a blessing.

  2. As I have re-read my comment, I realize that the impact of your post is not as clear as I had hoped. My friend, in whose chair I found quiet and solace while my mom was dying 20 years ago, texted me just this morning as I read this post. Her mom went with Jesus just this morning. Gleaning from your blog, which is my morning devotion and a daily blessing, today was also for her in a time of need. For all this I thank God for HIs generosity and for your daily sharing.

    • Thanks so much. It encourages me to keep it up.

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