Today I’m sitting at my desk, looking out my window at what may be one of the last of summer’s best days. The first cold front is expected next week, and I’m already bracing for the inevitable change of weather.
This cycle of nature is something I’ve learned to expect. But it’s funny how I’m always blindsided when it happens in my actual life. To be fair, life’s changes aren’t as predictable as the seasons. Not only does my life not shut down every fall, only to start up bigger and better in the spring, but in reality, the natural cycle is much more multifaceted.
Some plants hibernate through winter, while some actually bloom in that season and some are evergreen. Some only live for one cycle, some grow pretty much anywhere there’s sun and soil, but others require precise conditions to grow at all—and those conditions aren’t the same from plant to plant. The more I observe nature, the more I see the parallels and the more at peace I feel, even when my life feels like it’s heading into a downturn. The Bible speaks of this in a profound passage:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.1
No matter what’s going on in your life, this amazing passage has you covered. It’s applicable when you’re at the top of the world, and it fits when you’re starting over. It reminds us that both these situations are part of the stream of life, and that there is at least a portion of these seasons that is completely outside of our control.
If you’re starting over, take some advice from the trees in the fall: be still. Let the old fall away. Let the roots reach deep, and be OK with a season that doesn’t look like much on the outside. The work goes on deep in the roots. Old, spent parts are falling away, making room for the new. You will bloom again.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1–8