[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
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.
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