Friday, April 24, 2009

To Everything There is a Season...

Ecclesiastes 3:1: "To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven..."

In the fall I purchased special thermal plastic sheeting to cover the inside of some of the windows in my home to seal in the cold and save on energy (and heating bills). My daughter and I had fun installing it, because you basically take a hair blow dryer and shrink wrap the sheets to vacuum seal your windows against the outside elements.

It is a beautiful spring morning today – so I went out to my back yard, turned on my new water fountain, filled up all the bird feeders, relishing every moment I was out there. However, I have a lot of studying to do today, so I reluctantly returned indoors and set up my study area on the dining room table, where the windows overlook the entire yard. As I sit here writing this I can see about a dozen goldfinch and purple finches feeding, a fiery red cardinal on the other feeder, two red-winged blackbirds, some sparrows, and a big old woodpecker up in his favorite tree perch. I can also see the beauty of the flowers and herb gardens – reds, whites, purples, yellows, and a variety of vibrant greens from the trees, plants and glass, all highlighted by a crystal blue sky flooded by sunlight.

What’s that got to do with thermal vacuum-sealed windows? Well, I had to take about five minutes after coming in to remove the sheets so I could open those windows for the first time since fall, to welcome/usher in the fragrant springs which refresh every room, cleanse out the old air and bring in the new. It also helps me hear more clearly the melodic sounds of the birds as they sing their morning anthems.

My heart and thoughts rest on seasonal changes, and how much they mean to me, both from nature’s standpoint, and from a personal perspective. There are times in our lives when it is important to seal ourselves away, to embrace solitude and quiet, to shut ourselves against the cold storms of life. Sometimes it’s as simple as just escaping, if only for a little while, the daily bombardment and clutter of life. Other times it’s needed because we’ve experienced a hurt or loss for which we need time to weep, sit with our pain, regroup, recover… and remember how to breathe. Often it is to spend time alone with God – whether it be in prayer, in the study of His word, or just simply to be still and know that He is God. Whatever the reasons, it is good to find that time to heal and just “be”.

However… as with the seasons, the time comes to open up again, to remove the seals we’ve put up against everything. In due time we must have the courage to open the windows of our heart and life, take a slow deep breath and begin to look outwards. The view is clearer, the sounds (or words or lessons) are more readily heard, the cleansing and growth process begin again. It is the gift of new day, and a new season in your journey.

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