Thursday, August 10, 2017

Porch Stories: Seasons

If you sat on a porch with a friend, what could you tell them about God's Faithfulness in All Seasons? For her Wednesday Porch Story this week, Kristin opens with:
So, let’s focus on how seasons are good. God does something with the seasons – the ones on the calendar and the ones in my heart. I want to take the freedom and pace of Summer Break into the beginning of the school year, when the weather cools for fall, and along wherever else God leads me in the coming days.
porch stories: seasons

"I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises." -Wendell Berry

Each of the four astronomical/meteorological seasons has some predictable characteristics that to some extent relate to geography. Ambient temperature, weather patterns (snow, rain, tornado, monsoon), local fruit and veggies, longer or shorter nights and days, outdoor and indoor activities people incline toward. Climate change is a sad reality, but because God calls humanity to steward creation with the same love God himself would provide, thoughtful, informed attention to the needs of plants, critters, and waterways can start to reverse devastating damages human ignorance and carelessness have caused.

We call spices, herbs, and sauces that add tang, interest, savor and flavor to foods "seasons" or "seasonings." If you've experienced tabasco, oregano, chipotle, worcestershire, or nutmeg, you sort of can predict what it will add to a dish and whether or not you'll like it. You only partly can predict because with curries, pumpkin pie spices, seasoned salts and others (worcestershire!) that are creative blends, you may be surprised.

Kristin refers to seasons on the calendar and seasons in her heart. Poet, farmer, and theologian Wendell Berry tells us his real living hasn't been as much about his own plans and expectations as it has been about God's redeeming his mistakes and missteps—God's surprises in his life. Long ago someone told me I love "the thrill of the chase," and that I do. One reason the slowness, drama, and unexpected innings of baseball intrigue me so! Exactly the way different climates, weather patterns, winter and summer, savory, succulent, or sweet good eats, casual and dressy clothes add interest even to dull disappointing days when nothing much has been happening or too much of the truly wrong events have been going down. All humans everywhere have seasons of grief and loss. Seasons of professional success, of flourishing relationships—for what it's worth to label heart endeavors successful or flourishing.

My own season of sorrow has been endless. Too many years of overwhelming disappointment following high expectations. Human seasons contain predictable elements, but like weather seasons in a carefully-stewarded environment, they also contain the hope of a future, God's promise of new life from every kind of death imaginable. If I sat on a porch with a friend, what would I tell them? About my own losses, failures, unfaithfulness, and sorrow? I hope so, because I trust I've grown some beyond my conviction that my pain is illegitimate, isn't worth talking about. Would I also tell them about God's faithfulness? About God redeeming my mistakes, *even* the sins and missteps of others that have affected me. In the power of the Holy Spirit of life—oh, yes! You know I will!

To God alone be glory!

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2 comments:

waterintowineblog.com said...

I think I'd like to sit on the porch a while and hear some of your stories. I guess this internet is a virtual porch. YES our pain, our story and losses and gains are legitimate our stories worth telling for ourselves and others. Always worth telling truth. I enjoyed your post. Thank you for getting me thinking today. Linked Up at #Porch Stories also today.

beingwoven.org said...

I love sharing stories on the porch. I recall my Grandpa's front porch in Chicago where many from the neighborhood (all ages) would come and spend an evening.