by Gayla Foster
The writer of Ecclesiastes made it perfectly clear: there is a time, a season, and a purpose for everything—the good, the bad, the ugly. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1–8.) Just as the earth experiences spring, summer, fall, and winter, our life cycle has its seasons. Much like spring, we emerge into existence out of the darkness, and just as easily as we emerge, we eventually fall back into the cold of winter. It’s called “life cycle.”
From seasons of stretching, where God seems to shape something new in our heart, to times love is tested, to visits by the cruel hand of death, life happens in seasons. There will be those winters when we simply cannot figure it all out; we are cracked and brokenhearted. We endure long nights and our prayers seem to go nowhere. We yearn for the glory of spring, the warmth of summer, the beauty of fall. However, every step and every stumble make us who we are. All the smiles, all the tears, all the big moments, and all the little ones tell our story. We cannot change the seasons, but we can change ourselves. That’s how life gets better: not by chance but by change.
We’ve all lost loved ones we miss dearly, but we must push forward. We look forward to the day we are going to be reunited with those we have lost! That season will come but, until it does, we can’t remain captive to the past. We must let go, move on so we can be productive. It’s impossible to encourage and help anyone in my present if I can’t let go of the past. Embrace and enjoy the current season of life. Don’t live in the future or the past—enjoy the present, the season you are in. It’s the perfect time to reflect on where we find ourselves in life and take necessary actions to correct our course.
Learn how to handle the winters of life; they come immediately after fall. Some are short, others are long; some are difficult, some easy; but they keep coming. We must learn to handle the night: it follows the day. We must learn how to handle difficulty; it comes right after opportunity. We must learn to handle recessions followed by progressions. Reestablish, rebalance, and set course. Don’t wish it easier; search and learn more skills during that time. Take the challenge; gain the wisdom.
Learn how to take advantage of the springs of life. We must get busy planting in the spring or we will be begging in the fall. One of Aesop’s most widely known fables tells the story of the grasshopper that spends all summer dancing and singing. The ant works feverishly, storing food for the winter while the grasshopper merrily sings the day away. When winter arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and begs the ant for food. However, the ant rebukes its idleness and tells it to, “Sing and dance now.” The moral of the story: There is a time to play and a time to work. Life is short. Use your seasons wisely. Take advantage and learn from them.
Learn how to take care of crops planted in the spring. Watch for busy bugs and obnoxious weeds that will rob the crop from you unless you prevent it. Don’t let the intruder take all the good you started! It’s one of life’s challenges. All good will be invaded. To believe otherwise is naïve. All values must be defended.
The cycle of life is the best reminder that nothing stands still. Life is always in constant flux, and change is normal. Sure, spring is the perfect symbolic time to “clean out” the old, but anytime of the year is the perfect starting place. From birth, growth, maturity, death, to our final home, it’s all part of the cycle of life.