So if you’ve been paying attention to the Satur-deja Vu you may have noticed I ranted about fall two weeks in a row. I honestly did not realize I had addressed that topic the week before. It’s not the season of the year I was ranting about so much as everyone excited about it while we’ve got some summer weeks left to go yet. I don’t want to rehash all that a third time but rather consider this topic: Why do we have seasons?
The beauty of seasons is that if you don’t like the one you are in, seasons change. I often use the changing of the seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter – to illustrate the changing seasons of life. I have gone through some seasons of feeling overworked and underappreciated. My father, Lewis Bunch, lost a short battle with cancer just a few weeks after my colleague and mentor Michael Spencer did the same. That was a season I will never have to go through again. Life is like that. Things change. Some seasons we hope to never see end but that is unlikely. Babies grow up, parents age, our bodies transition to working against us at some point. Time is not the enemy; it’s better to think of time as a river and we are all sailing in the same direction. It is futile to trying going against the current but there are things we can do to steer.
The climatic seasons are closing related to time. Unless you live within 23 degrees of the equator or north/south of the arctic/antarctic circles you probably experience four seasons each year. Everything about the passage of time is measured in cycles. The earth rotates, the moon revolves around it, the earth revolves around the sun. Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset; thank you Tevye. The Byrds quoted extensively from Ecclesiastes in Turn! Turn! Turn! The Lion King taught a generation about the Circle of Life. After the flood God made certain promises to humanity. The most well known is that he would never again destroy all creation with flood. But also “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 Recorded time began in the Garden of Eden when evening and morning were the first day. From that point forward the cycle repeated itself and God has promised those cycles will continue as long as the earth remains.
Time had a definite beginning and will have a definite end. Eternity is not a long, long time. Eternity exists beyond time; it was before time and will continue after time is no more. There is no sun or moon in Revelation 21. There is no need for a sun because the Son of God is its light. The 12 gates of New Jerusalem are open by day and there is no night. A thousand years, a million years, these terms have no meaning in heaven. Time is temporary. It is available for a limited time only, one might say. The cycle of days, the changing of seasons, these are reminders that time is passing and help us to keep track of the days. One day time itself will pass away. Or if you prefer, we will get to the end of the river and not have to worry about it anymore.