On a leisurely ride through the back roads in central Massachusetts Sunday, Debbie and I were enjoying a day of rest. It is offseason here, at least with regard to bicycling. The thermometer suggests we’re about as far from bicycling season as we can get. Just as I was thinking I’m glad we have a break, along came a hearty soul bundled up in cold weather gear on a racing bike. Good for her, I thought. But, I’ll use the break to rest and have something to really look forward to in a few months.
Seasons are edifying. They give you a chance to regroup, reflect, and reengage. Just as it pays to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods, so too does it pay to alter the activity in one’s life. In spring, hibernation ends and new life begins. Rapid growth ensues, with visuals in stark contrast to winter. When summer arrives, that which blossomed in spring gains strength and stands tall in the sun, showcasing beauty, vibrancy, and abundance, the very majesty of God’s creation. Autumn brings the fully mature to harvest, when bounty and blessing abound. What spring started, fall takes away. Then, in winter, dormancy reigns. Nature retools to begin the cycle again.
Life itself comes with seasons, from the cradle to the grave. You’ll pay closer attention to them as you transition from one to another. The springtime of youth launches us toward the productive years of summer. Toward middle age, the colors begin to change. We have entered our autumn years when we reap the benefit of the growth of prior seasons. Then, as our physical stamina begins to decline, the frost and cold of our winter years set in.
Each season has its own advantages, challenges, and rewards. In youth, we are blessed with boundless energy and exuberance. Yet, we lack the wisdom and patience to make sound decisions and persist. When our young adult years arrive, we learn to achieve, and we mature. But we are saddled with responsibility and encumbered by the mistakes that we make. When the midlife harvest arrives, our wisdom and experience begin to pay off, but our physical prowess has begun to wane. We no longer have the energy to exploit our newfound gifting. And when the gray and the white of old age invade, retirement may serve up more spare time, but it comes without the energy needed to maximize its benefits. We soon invest more of this time at the doctor’s office, and we can no longer take survival for granted. We’ve earned respect, but it sure is difficult to work and play like we could years ago.
The seasons of life: they come with pluses and minuses. Remember that when you are feeling short-changed in one of life’s seasons. And enjoy them. Each is a gift with something unique to offer. No matter the season, you have something that those in another season do not. So, focus on the positive and be thankful. Take advantage of what each has to offer. Life is so much more enjoyable when you do.