A Strong Sense of Season
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On the first warm day of spring I can remember my son saying, "Ready for a little baseball, Dad?" Well, 'twas the season, although that early in the season we usually ended up stuck in the mud somewhere between home plate and first base. Now, he didn't ask about playing baseball if it was fall or winter. Now, he always had a like a strong sense of season. By the same token, the first cool day of late summer, of course, that brought a predictable question, "Ready for a little football, Dad?" This is the same son, of course, that got upset when he saw Christmas items up before Thanksgiving, or phone calls when he was studying or homework that you had to do on weekends. See, this kid had and actually still does have for that matter, a strong sense of what season it is, and there's actually a lot of sanity in living that way.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Ecclesiastes 3, and let me read some excerpts to you: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 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." It goes on with a list of life's times, and then concludes in verse 11, "God has made everything beautiful in its time."
Well, the message of Ecclesiastes 3 to me is this: know what time it is. Know what season it is at this point in your life, or your month, or your week. And then really do what it's time to do and don't mix up your seasons. When it's time to work, well, really work; when it's time to fellowship, really fellowship. Just don't mix everything up.
Now, I know some people who talk half of their work day. Well, when it's fellowship time, do that, but don't mix that with your work and vice-versa. When it's time to play, well, really play. When it's time to be home, don't bring your work home with you; be home. When it's time to be at work, don't keep doing personal stuff. When it's time to pray, block out everything else.
Maybe that's why Jesus told us to go in a closet to do it. When it's time to listen, drop everything else and focus on that person. If it's time to finish something else before you listen, get that done and schedule a time when you really can listen. When it's time to study, don't talk. When it's time to unwind, don't study. Get the idea?
I have a friend whose employees' wives are on the warpath because their husbands are coming home forever late from work. Guess who they blame? The boss and the company for over-working their men. Well, the fact is what the wives don't know is that these men are taking extended lunch hours for gym time and shooting the breeze much of the day. They waste as much time as they work, and then they have to work like crazy at the other end of the day. And then, guess what? They can't be the fathers they need to be.
I like what the Bible says in Colossians 3, "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart." And I really like what Jim Elliot, the missionary martyr said, "Wherever you are, be all there." See, things don't work as well when you do them "out of season." Each day, each week has seasons in your life. Well, do with all your heart what it's time to do at that moment and then God makes everything beautiful in its time.
I'll tell you, life is a lot more peaceful when you live with that strong sense of season.