Two weeks ago we visited Rocky Mountain National Park. The elk were everywhere. Their bugle echoed through the hills. Peaceful cows grazed in the meadows under the watchful eye of the antlered-bull that gathered them for mating season. Through winter and summer they disappear into the vast forests, but, in the fall, when the Aspen tinge the mountain slopes with yellow, they appear, bold and fearless. They have been doing this for thousands of years, long before humans wandered these valleys.
All of nature is synchronized with the seasons. The geese fill the skies with wind singing in their wings. Monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico. The maple, oak and sumac fire the hills with crimson and gold preparing the way for vast white blankets of snow.
Our concrete, plastic and glass world attempts to insulate us from nature’s rhythms. So do our drugs. They deaden our souls and our senses. We are more alive when we connect with the rhythms God has built into his creation. The changing seasons seek to awaken us, to remind us that the same creative power that painted the mountains and designed the migrations of the birds also created us.
All of life is lived in seasons, from birth to death. Each is made for celebration, for life and learning and loving: playful childhood, visionary youth, responsible adulthood, reflective old age. The seasons of life fill our souls with songs of faith, love, hope, joy and sorrow. We all experience seasons of health and seasons of illness, seasons of plenty and seasons of lack, seasons of pain and seasons of joy.
Ecclesiasts puts it best: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 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, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
In all of our seasons we can celebrate God’s presence as our Creator and sustainer, the savior of our soul.