Or, why is there a time for every season?
Have you ever stopped to wonder at the cycle of a year. We not only have the seasons, but there is also the Christian calendar. Our workplace or school will have a definite yearly order to it. In Australia our school year finishes with the calendar year but when I was in the UK the two were unrelated, but rather, the transition occurred after summer – at the end of August. But there was still a pattern. There are cycles in our families which are often determined by important birthdays and anniversaries. And there is of course, the dreaded financial year and tax time!
Our lives have a cycle too. An elderly lady once described the three ages of humanity: Youth, Middle Age and “My, you do look well!”
The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks of it in chapter 3. “There is a time for everything … under heaven.” People of a certain vintage with paisley shirts in their wardrobe will remember The Byrds singing these words in the tumultuous 1960s.
Now to my musing: Why has God ordained creation in this way? Life is linear but also circular. There is a progression but also a repetition. The new arrives daily and yet the familiar encircles us yearly.
Is this a means that God uses to comfort us? Are the patterns in a life part of His divine embrace? In the confusion of the big dipper of life, there is the regular pattern of the comfortable that comes year after year. In the midst of new craziness, the leaves still fall in autumn and the shoots still leap forth in Spring. So even though life can sometimes seem a little, or a lot, out of control, there is Divine reassurance that life is still held together. There are threads of regularity that weave the fabric of life together. God is still in control.
I like the distinction between linear and circular. You may already know this but I recently learned that all ancient literature – including Scripture – was written in a circular manner and that before writing stories down, bards told stories in a circular manner. This was laid out in a book I”m reading called Jesus: A Theography by Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola. They even state that our brain is hardwired to work best in this circular manner. I also recently read about it in a book on Revelation by Darrell W. Johnson. Never connected it to the seasons of life but it is fascinating stuff. Thanks for the blog brother!