photos and writings by June Friesen,
As one ponders this phrase it can bring many things to mind as well as it can cause one to feel many emotions. Life is seasonal yet so often we find ourselves unsettled and maybe even ‘wanting’ for another thing or something else…in the summer one tends to complain about the ‘hot’ days, in the fall there are times one complains about the ‘frost’, in the winter one may complain about the blinding snowstorm/frigid weather and in spring it may be feeling overwhelmed with so much to get done such as preparing for planting and planting itself. The writer of Ecclesiastes took particular time to draw his readers’ attention to ‘time’/’times’ –
3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.
14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
I am not sure what phrase/verse may have caught your attention or eye but this time when I read it the last phrase stood out: ‘simply worship in holy fear.’ Ah… to simply worship God… in/with acceptance of what is and/or where I happen to be. How might that change my perspective in life/in my life in particular? Over the many years of my life and experiences, some things have been good, some great, some not so good, and some I even think back on as just not so good at all. However, that being said, I have also learned many years ago that the most important thing that I can do is to remember that God is in charge 24/7, every day, every week, every year so long as I have physical life on this earth. How practical this became in my life goes back to a response to an experience I had 12 years ago hiking in a valley when I stepped off a path to go down to a creek and in the thick underbrush was a branch that snapped. I fell, shattering my ankle. I remember laying back on the ground, looking up through the treetops towards the sun with this prayer, “God, You alone know all that I have to do in the next two months; I am Yours and this situation I give to You. It is now Your problem.” That changed my response to everything, and God did a miraculous healing even though it took some time. At 72 years I now can still run. I have a daily reminder of two scars. On one side the scar appears as praying hands and on the other side a heart.
A SEASON OF GRATITUDE
God, as one ponders the beauty of the harvest time,
One sees the colors change;
While the changing colors are actually preparing for a time of rest –
Rest for several weeks/months, we embrace them with thankful spirits.
We see the sprigs of remaining flowers decorating a few spaces,
Soon to be just empty stalks and then no more.
We see the trees heavy with fruit for harvest,
Some to be enjoyed by humans and some for the animals’ nourishment.
We see the gardens with the last harvests ready of
Potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and more that will be prepared for winter food.
As one ponders with gratitude the four seasons of nature
We too should remember that there are seasons of gratitude in one’s life –
There are times of quiet, stillness –
When God desires that we just ‘be’
As He prepares us for new beginnings and life.
There are times of struggle and maybe even some frustration, maybe even some rebellion…
When God is doing a new beginning, a new growing in our life.
There are times when there is a flourish of activity and so many things/people are calling
And God gives wisdom, strength, and knowledge to share as well as to nurture self and others,
There are times when there is harvesting – seeing others around us bursting forth
With new beginnings, new careers, education plans,
Reaping the benefits of hard work, nurturing received, and now maturation.
And so it is that the seasons will begin all over again
In new ways, with new things, with new people as well as the same people –
In ourself hopefully, we will begin to see that embracing the present season in the moment
Will bring great blessing when the process of life is completed.
Thanks be to God for designing seasons in nature
But also designing seasons of life and giving us the grace and wisdom to live through them.
Amen and amen.
June Friesen 2021
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