I do not look forward to autumn (fall if you are from North America). While I love the colours of autumn I hate the days getting shorter, the clocks changing, the wind and the rain and the cold, and the fact that everything is dying. I enjoy spring more. It may still be wet and windy and cold in spring but everything is coming back to life. The days are getting longer and there is summer to look forward to. I am most definitely not a winter person.
The weather forecaster on breakfast television made a comment this week about being a ‘four seasons person.’ The news presenter responded that he quite liked Frankie Valli too! I saw that one coming, and it prompted me to go and find my The Very Best of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons CD. There are some interesting song titles on the CD. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore is as close as I can get to the impending approach of winter. The truth is that the sun often shines in winter, just not for so long, and never climbing high enough in the sky to make that much of a difference to the temperature.
Our autumn temperatures are unseasonably warm this last week in October to the extent that we do not need our central heating. The reason it is warm is that the winds are coming from the south bringing a plume of warm air up across Europe from Africa.
Whether I like it not we need the seasons. Every one has its place in the order of creation. In fact the first mention of seasons in Scripture is in verse fourteen of Genesis 1:
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
There are many other references to seasons in Scripture (and seasoning, which as any cook will tell you is also of great importance). This is one of my favourites:
The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. (Psalm 145:14-18 NKJV)
And just as there are seasons in nature, so there are also seasons in our lives. The sun doesn’t always shine. But even when the sun does not seem to shine on us we are still called to be salt (seasoning) and light to the world around us.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:13-16 NLT)