Seasons of Change

Seasons of Change

Ah, September. Vanguard of the season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and Strictly Come Dancing.

I love the changing seasons. It wasn’t until I spent two years in and around the seemingly permanently sunny countries of Central America that I realised how much I enjoy – even crave – the rhythm and pattern of four different seasons.

Yet as the nights start drawing in again, as the children go up another year in school, or move away to university or their first job, many of us have mixed emotions. How do they grow up so fast? Where does the time go?

Changing seasons emphasise the passage of time and remind us that none of us is getting any younger. Those carefree days when we were excited about our new school uniform, fresh exercise books and shiny, if uncomfortable, sensible shoes seem far away. The pressures of life weigh down and it can appear as though time is slipping by far too fast.

The writer of Ecclesiastes assures us ‘there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to plant and a time to uproot… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance’ (3:1-4), but such a concept often seems foreign to 21st-century Westerners. Our technological advances have made us believe that we have the right and the duty to overcome natural processes. We are uncomfortable with mourning, and positively terrified of growing old.

In her new book, Am I Beautiful?, Chine Mbubaegbu touches on the issue of ageing, and her fears – ‘not being seen. Being ignored and seen as irrelevant, outdated and past it’ – are as much to do with value as with beauty.

Our culture tells us that youth is precious and desirable, while age, illness and infirmity are to be feared and despised. Yet just as every year goes through its seasons, so must every life. And just as each season of the year brings its joys along with its sorrows and its unique beauties along with its unique challenges, so does every season of life.

Our culture tells us that change is to be feared, but God tells us that ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Who will you choose to believe?

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This post first appeared as the Connecting with Culture email from LICC.

6 Comments On This Topic
  1. Rachel
    on Sep 9th at 2:24 pm

    Jennie, at 57 years of age I feel some of these things. Knowing that Jesus is before me makes all the difference. Excellent article.

    Reply
    • Jennie Pollock
      on Sep 9th at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Rachel! I applaud your courage at listing your age for all to see – I hate that our culture so often makes us feel ashamed of our age. You’re a truly beautiful 57 year-old! Thanks for commenting, and for your encouragement (always). 🙂

      Reply
  2. Alisa Russell
    on Sep 9th at 4:36 pm

    In answer to your question, God, always God. I have felt this acutely especially over this past year as we have had so many changes. But, they are good changes. We have come back to God and have a church family now. In fact, my 14 year old son was baptized a few weeks ago. He had his first fall baseball practice yesterday, and I was really proud when my husband told me he had talked about his faith with the other boys. We tell both of our boys that change is part of the rhythm of life. (They will be experiencing another change in a few weeks as we will be losing our youth minister.) Good article!

    Reply
    • Jennie Pollock
      on Sep 9th at 4:55 pm

      Alisa, that’s wonderful news! Great to hear.

      Reply
  3. Joni McArthur
    on Sep 9th at 4:48 pm

    My biggest challenge was the changing season from full-time work to full-time mothering. The challenge has been to try to enjoy the current season and not to worry that I will be left out, unable to get back on the career ladder. It’s required a need for ongoing trust in God in what he wants me to do. I can imagine this particular season for women in the workplace facing motherhood and going through that is a big adjustment for many and will need lots of faith to trust God for what he wants for them and for their children. I realise there is no right way here whether it’s to stay home or work as a mum, but it’s definitely one that whichever way you choose needs faith.

    Reply
    • Jennie Pollock
      on Sep 9th at 5:00 pm

      Ooh yes, that is a big one. Harder in some ways because you DO have a measure of choice over it, and as you say, the decision either way has big ramifications for the present and the future. I imagine many people must struggle with wondering if they made the right decision, but once it’s made, you just have to get on and live it out in faith, don’t you?

      I’m so glad my mum was home for our early years. I hope you do manage to find great joy in it, and clearly see God’s hand of blessing on your family and your future.

      Reply

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