We live by seasons. While it may be a cliché none the less, there is no escaping this simple reality of life. Some seasons last longer than others and others can be very short, and some feel like they’re lasting for an eternity. Even with the natural seasons these days, as the impact of global warming and climate change continues to increase, a summer can start in early spring and finish mid-autumn. And sometimes summer feels like it hasn’t arrived at all and winter is just hanging around for the heck of it!
Some seasons we’ll never understand. Who will ever understand a season of war? Is it then we only truly understand a season of peace? And then there’s the seasons of unseen twists and turns; something ends up not going like it’s meant to. It’s been that one thing you’ve longed and searched for, and it didn’t meet expectations, and suddenly you’re back to square one. Others seem like it’s a never ending state of bliss; it’s almost like nothing can destroy it. And then suddenly comes a season of tragedy, grief, devastation and loss; a season where it feels like you’re on your own and no one can understand what you’re going through.
As Sean reminded Will in Good Will Hunting, “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to. “
And here I stand before the whole world, guilty as charged, of not paying enough attention to the good stuff while it was present and happening. I’ve certainly paid attention to the bad stuff and given it more attention than it deserved. It’s probably easier to pay attention to the bad stuff, because that’s when we’re really tested, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Sometimes we have to search for a new season and not just wait for it to arrive; it means breaking a cycle, taking up something new and killing off something old that our lives don’t need anymore. There are those seasons where you lose yourself and you don’t know where you’ve gone, and neither do those who love you.
It’s not doom and gloom though; no hope is never lost if it’s there to be found. It’s during these seasons where it is paramount to be paying attention to what’s going on – life can and will hurt. As resilient we might believe we are or can be, there will times when life breaks on us, and calls for us to stop and do a stocktake, and check the life books.
These are the times that call for honesty and the truth – not the relative truth of postmodernity, but absolute liberating truth of life.
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 (NIV)
That is where life has me at present: undertaking a deconstruction and working with God to bring about a reconstruction. It’s a radical way of putting it, but that is what it is; a deconstruction for a reconstruction. After the darkest period of my life, which lasted a good three years, a life deconstruction is exactly what has needed to happen. As scary as that all sounds, it’s actually a time to celebrate because that is when God really shows us his goodness in all its fullness to give us life in all its fullness (John 10:10). Even if we do not understand what’s going on at the time, he deconstructs us and reconstructs us, and reveals to us our true identities, and whom he has created and intended for us to be.
The apostle Paul puts it like this: “We ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)
Somewhere I had convinced myself during this three year period that I didn’t really need God and I could life without his wisdom, guidance and counsel. It was not a surprise dead ends started to appear, and that suddenly, hopelessness became more and more of a reality.
It all changed by answering a simple question, what do I put my hope in?
And before I could even answer that question, there came the painful reality of needing to make acknowledgements and confessions; yeah, there’s been a lot of failure, false starts, anger, regret and resentment to deal with and let go of.
The great hope I have in knowing Jesus and following him, is that he is in the renewal business. Through Jesus, God brought to the world a new season. The reason for him entering into history was God announcing that he was recreating the heavens and the earth; he was establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth where all humanity can enjoy life of obscene abundance, all the while bringing about a new creation, a restored earth and environment, beginning with us. From what I understand, God does not want to destroy the earth or the world at all – far from it. The Bible has never taught this.
Through Jesus entering history, so did the church – not to be a religious force, but to be a revolution that will bring a new season that will last forever.