God operates seasonally in our non-stop world
Jane Clamp has been kicking the autumn leaves, and reflects on the periods of rest God builds into our lives.
Much is made of the seasons in this country, and rightly so. Now firmly nestled in autumn, there is no mistaking the time of year with its vivid colours, squally weather and mince pies on the shop shelves. It’s a wonderful time for getting out and about and I did just that recently with my grand-daughter.
Watching young children explore their world is a great reminder that we ourselves still have much to learn – or remember what we used to know. As I walked through the fallen leaves, while she was being conveyed in her pushchair, we pointed to the trees then down at the ground. I reached up to one of the lower branches and released a broad yellow specimen, the size of a flag in her hand. Later, we did likewise with a scarlet red acer leaf, then a crisp and curled beech.
When we got home, she paused at the back door, clearly spotting potential in the climbing plant on the trellis. One by one she eased the leaves off until I suggested she keep some there for Mummy and Daddy to see. Instantly, I remembered just a few short months ago when that very same plant had come under similar attack. She’d had a fondness for picking all the flower-heads on every plant in the garden, including this one which was all but stalks now. And it set me thinking about how the rules can change within seasons. In the summer, don’t touch! In autumn, let’s pick the leaves off…
We don’t tend to live seasonally. Our lifestyles, driven by work and other regular commitments and routines, roll along whatever the time of year. We can eat the same things, if we don’t mind our strawberries shipped in from Peru, or wherever. We can have a sunshine holiday in February or August or November.
Generally speaking, we don’t allow ourselves the downtime, the fallow period; and nature demonstrates that life can’t just keep going full-pelt without those times of hiatus. Those trees cannot stay in leaf all year long. Our roses can’t bloom through every month. The raspberries only produce fruit for those precious few weeks.
Yet, somehow, we expect to keep our own motors running. In a “dry spell”, when nothing seems to be happening, we can panic, thinking God has somehow abandoned us and isn’t hearing our prayers. When endeavours come to nothing, we fear our opportunities have run out, that we’ve reached the end.
Not so. However much we deny their rhythm, God still operates seasonally. He’s kind like that. He offers rest – whether we choose to accept it or not. He allows increase and abundance for a time, but then eases back so that we have chance to recover our energy.
Perhaps it’s time you went and kicked your way through some leaves?
The image above is courtesy of https://pixabay.com
Jane Clamp is the author of Too Soon, a devotional on the subject of miscarriage, published by SPCK in August 2018. A member of the Association of Christian Writers, she writes for local and national radio. In her spare time she is an interior designer and musician.
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