Tell if this sounds familiar. Watching myself grow up (I know that sounds a bit weird, but I’m a very introspective person), I’ve noticed a cycle. The length of the cycle varies depending on one thing or another, but the general gist of it is like this. Everything is going well. I begin to make tentative steps forward with things. After a little success, I become a little bolder, growing confident. Then I become just a little to confidant and someone humiliates me. I stop short and think, "Sheesh, didn’t you learn the last time that you can’t run around with that attitude?" I wiggle around for a while, then submit to humiliation. Rinse and repeat.
The trick is to catch the beginnings of that little proud attitude. I’m not offering excuses, but that creature of conceit is an elusive enemy. And all to often it catches me off guard. It is all the more dangerous because of the delayed nature of its consequences. Arrogance rarely manifests itself till pride has had time to germinate and root itself inside your soul. By the time the first blade of pretension raises its wrinkled little head pride has taken root. Ones defense must then take the precautionary measure and a proactive stance. If you wait to react, it will all ready be too late.
At the end of this particular cycle, I’m always grateful for the one who was wise enough to rebuke me, and for a God who was merciful enough to spare me worse consequences.
Summer days and Spring time flowers
Evenings filled with conversation
Autumn winds and Winter bowers
Mornings brimmed with anticipation
Of a future bright with naught to fear
And life to live with those held dear
These are gifts that God has given
Treasured with each passing season
Gifts for which the God of Heaven
With might by love for this His reason
That He might demonstrate to us
The wisdom of His sovereign love
That isn’t the only cycle I often experience though. Attitudes and general states of mind tend to cycle as well, and many of them are welcomed. The seasons especially are rich and beautiful, one that I anticipate with each circuit. Recently a number of my friends have graduated college, and a number are also getting married. It has put me in the mind to consider seasons, and why God has given them to us. Yesterday, some friends and I were out working on a project. Discussion in the car somehow came upon the topic of stimulation, more specifically the observation that people do not respond to states but changes in states. The example of stoplights were brought up, how often people will jump the light because they detected a change in another object close by, like a clock or the light facing the other direction.
Perhaps that is the reason why God put seasons in our lives. The constant change causes us to respond, to move and change as well. Growth can’t occur without some form of change or motion. Water, when left still, will stagnate. The feeling I’m left with is that the seasons and cycles that make up our lives are gifts, given to us to facilitate our growth.
It also occurs to me that like all things in the universe, the seasons must be governed. When organisms attempt to change too fast or fail to change fast enough, problems arise. Cancer is evidence of this phenomenon, the effect of rogue cells dividing uncontrolled destroying the normal growth of the living organisms around it. The key then in life is to find the balance in growth, a balance dictated by He who governs the growth of all things. Paul counsel’s us to let our moderation me known unto all men, and exhorts us to be sober minded. So then, the seasons in our life are given perhaps not only to prompt change, but also to moderate the rate we change.