To everything there is a season
The daisies in the back yard are blooming. So are the hellebores.
The trees are full of buds, and my hosta is coming up.
The effects of an exceptionally mild winter are evident,
and an untimely exhibition is currently underway.
The trees, the plants, the flowers,
are responding to erroneous cues.
They have been tricked into a premature display.
Exposed to the elements, their beauty is in danger of being eradicated, or, at the very least, damaged, by their hasty arrival.
Their growth will be stunted, their impact, diminished.
What is covered in blooms today,
will be covered in frost tomorrow.
The blossoms, vivid today, will be muted tomorrow.
The buds, so pregnant with promise today,
will be hollow with barrenness tomorrow.
Balmy days will give way to icy tomorrows.
Today’s sunbeams will become tomorrow’s shadows.
It’s bound to happen,
because it simply is not time.
The time has not come for such an audacious presentation.
To act prematurely is to invite disaster.
We see it in nature. We see it in our lives.
Seasons occur consecutively, not concurrently.
We cannot live in two seasons at once.
One season follows another.
That’s just the way it is.
A season of preparation must precede
a season of performance.
Dark winters give birth to vibrant springs.
Isolation paves the way for demonstration.
We have gifts, talents, skills, and abilities
that we long to unveil.
We lament that no one sees, that no one knows,
what waits below the surface.
Like a long-dormant bulb
straining toward the winter sun,
we yearn for what the spotlight reveals.
We succumb to the seduction of recognition.
We convince ourselves that what we have to offer
is so essential, so necessary,
that we close our ears
to the inherent risks of employing our gifts too early.
We drown out the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit,
because, in our estimation,
the world needs what we have.
We want to bloom now.
We yearn to break out of the darkness of anonymity,
into the light of acknowledgment.
So, concluding that our germination is complete, we act.
Independent of God, and unprepared for the long haul,
we soon find ourselves
withered, stilted, and lifeless.
The flowers, while lovely,
can’t withstand the harsh conditions.
They bloom too early, and fade too fast.
There is another way. It’s called trust.
We demonstrate our trust in our Creator
by waiting for Him to tell us when the time is right.
We acquiesce. We submit. We yield.
We allow Him to transform our
impatience into acceptance,
by allowing us to see the purpose for our season of waiting.
We resolve to embrace our time spent in the shadows,
understanding that only when we are content there,
are we ready for the spotlight.
Helen Keller said, “Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.”
Perhaps, we could say it another way:
“Keep your face to the Son,
and the shadows won’t matter at all.”