There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…
It is the time of year when nature inspires a sense of awe in us. As leaves die, they give forth one final burst of colour brighter than the paint on an artist’s palette. The sky takes on an unusually crisp blueness and the sun’s low, golden rays cast whimsical shadows. We feel energized as autumn breezes stir up the colour around us and chase away the dense summer air.
For me, autumn has always been a time to reflect. A playful time, promising us that life, although soon to be hidden in the dead of winter, will only be invisible for a short while. When the days are grey, cold, and hard, I remember that only a few short weeks ago, the world was light and lively and in only a few weeks more, colour will return.
As Ecclesiastes reminds us, God designed life to run in cycles or seasons. Yet how often do we approach this life with expectations of perpetual summer, only to struggle with anxiety and disappointment when winter inevitably interrupts these expectations? I know I am guilty of this.
One beautiful fall weekend I spent time with my best friend, and during our conversation, she explained to me how approaching life as a series of seasons gives her perspective as a young mom. We have all been wrestling through struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic and worries of what is to come, also how this pandemic effects the children and the family settings. It has been difficult but there is hope for what is coming. When you accept that this current situation will not last forever because some seasons in life will be better than others - you can find peace.
Knowing there is a natural rhythm, a “time to weep and a time to laugh,” gives us permission to let go of the perfectionist expectations of our lives. It lightens our burdens by giving us hope for the future during trials and prepares us for times of struggle – until the day comes when there will be no more winter and no more tears.
By Aleisha Mazier
Women's Ministry Associate Director