Summer is finally here. I am announcing that it has finally arrived after a very uncertain beginning. This year, here in Calgary at least, it has been one very long wait. I sometimes wonder if anyone loves the warm weather better than we do in the foothills of the Canadian rockies. And because we wait so long, summer seems to be that much more of a joyful thing when it finally does come.
At least we know the meaning of seasonal life. Living in a climate such as ours gives us a certain kind of life experience; we learn to be patient. While we are sometimes stunned by a snowy Saturday in June (June 6, 2009), we are never totally surprised. Instead, such days are kind of a joke. We know that as our days lengthen, summer inevitably follows.
What I want to remind us of today is one of the clichés that I myself love and honor. And that is this: that life comes to us in seasons. Life presents its ups and downs, its ins and outs, its stops and starts. Life has rhythm and pattern. What we experience as we move from season to season is not of the same nature: there is a time for growth and expansion and building, and another time for rest and quietness and healing. We need all the variations and differences in order to live a full and connected life.
So I give you once more the words of “the preacher” (Heb: Kohelet, or preacher), the wise voice who reminds us that “there is a time for everything”. Of course you have heard this famous poem from Ecclesiastes chapter 3, but I hope it reminds you to take in the season we are in, and not to miss a single bit of it.
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,
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.
So take care to live in the season before you. Be present to God and the particular meaning of these beautiful months of changed pace and freedom from winter’s tyranny. Who knows but that this summer will bring to your life something you previously did not have room for, a friendship you didn’t see coming, or a way of thinking that you didn’t think possible. There has to be a time for everything.
And now, if you will excuse us, we want to fully enjoy the warmth and sun and outdoor activity for a few months.
This Sunday we begin a new series for June, Things I Wish I Could Say. See you at the coffee pot at 9:29 or 11:11 am.