Something has been lost. Don’t we often have a nagging feeling within us that something has been lost? It’s not our glasses or the grocery list most of the time (unless you have small children or dogs or both like I do). What I’m talking about is deeper, more the core than the apple. In the movie, The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo lives with this nagging feeling that things are not as they should be and while there are clues to the dilemma, there are no answers. Until someone tells him the truth that his “life” was nothing more than a dream-state.
The December 2013 issue, Seasons, is our attempt to look at life’s changes and come to peace with them. But what if there were no seasons? RC is having to come to peace with this by his living in Florida. But as a society we have come to the place where God’s reminders, God’s nudges, God’s cosmic calendar have little effect on us and our daily lives.
We live in a state of perpetual 72 degreeness. We create our own artificial suns, our own weather systems and our own harvests. In fact we harvest year round, don’t we? If Florida oranges are out of season, ha, ha, we can just purchase them from Australia instead. Another truck comes from another direction and unloads the same product at our favorite store. We don’t miss a beat.
We used to know when to go to bed and when to rise. We were alerted to the need to work very hard and when it was a season of rest. When the land rested, so did we. When the sun went to bed, so did we. And there was a connection we had built into our subsconscious that echoed the very words of Ecclesiastes.
RC once reflected in a Basement Tape conversation the opportunity for thanksgiving we lose, or seemingly so, when we get our return for our labor in digital ones and zeros rather than in fruit growing on our vines or vegetables from our fields or eggs from our chickens.
I’m not a farmer; I am one of those who is living this very life of disconnectedness. And I know I’m missing something. But perhaps there is a solution. Perhaps we need not miss God’s promptings, His celestial guidance.
And we can have seasons and live, like Neo, in a world of confusion until the truth is revealed to us. The pagan farmer has all the evidence of God in front of him, the wonder of creation is his backyard and yet he doesn’t see, he won’t see. So we, who have the truth, need not be lost without the promptings because we have the ultimate answer. But because there is wisdom in God’s promptings we should, for those of us who have been disconnected from the land at least, make our own seasons.
Lessons from Life’s Seasons
What lessons were we to learn by having the seasons dominate our daily lives?
Patience: the seed is planted, and then months later it is ready to harvest. We can readily learn this from our children, as we plant the seeds of righteousness in their hearts and as we struggle with the weeds that constantly intrude.
Earnestness: When we have to work in the fields and the sun is hot and the days are long, we must be thinking of the reward that is to come. A liturgical calendar helps us as we look to the memorials and celebrations around the year. A calendar of family events helps too, as vacations and trips to visit loved ones and annual church parties become the anchors and rewards of our year.
Trust: Days of drought and nights of flooding test our resolve and interrupt our sleep. We certainly do not need fields and fowl before us to have trust issues in front of our daily thoughts.
Gratitude: Perhaps the most important lesson God wants us to learn. He provides the work itself, the reward of the harvest, the lessons of the lean years and the bounty of the fat. We all fail to be grateful, farmer and field hand, factory worker and fashion blogger. We all, hopefully, recognize that God gives the increase, whether it be sheep or sales or salaries.
It’s a challenge, no matter the promptings, to live the Christian life with godly reactions to all that life brings. But, no matter what, we have the Scriptures, our Holy Spirit and, God willing, faithful earthly shepherds to guide us through the fields of life.
This article originally appeared in Every Thought Captive magazine, December 2013.
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Every Thought Captive is the monthly magazine of Highlands Ministries. Ten issues per year packed with encouraging and thought-provoking articles that will help you consider how you and your family can live a more simple, separate, and deliberate life for the glory of God and for the building of His kingdom.