Do you notice anything about the photo below ? I spotted this little scene earlier this year on one of my many treks down Highway 6 to Target. In fact, it jumped out at me so vividly, that I turned my car around and pulled over just to snap this pic. When I look at this image, I see spring in full bloom, nice and green, fresh flowers, plants neatly growing with each other. And then there’s the orange tree. It’s gone ahead and jumped to autumn. It’s out of season from the rest of it’s surroundings, doing what it can to grow in the season it appears to be in, but seemingly just a little out of sync.
Have you ever felt like this autumn tree? Like, everyone is in their season of pretty… of all kinds of got-it-together-ness and you’re ….. not? I have! There have been so many times that when I look out around me, I see everyone’s lives sort of like spring… bright and colorful, fresh, neatly planted. They seem so in sync with their surroundings. And all the while I’m sitting by my lonesome in fall… feeling more like those cheery colors are fading out and the now brittle leaves are getting ready to shed at any time.
Seasons can be good. They’re often anticipated and expected. They give us variety to life and can be something to look forward to. They can bring with them a welcome change from what has been and encourage traditions and newness for the months ahead. If it wasn’t for seasons, life could be pretty monotonous and dull.
But, not all seasons are times of refreshment. Some seasons very much throw us off. They can come unexpectedly. And some seasons bring about change that we would rather not go through, much less embrace.
The bible talks about all kinds of seasons in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
The seasons of life can be good. And they can be scary. They can be joyous. And they can be full of worry. And unfortunately, we don’t get to choose our season. We don’t get to pick one everyone else is in, which stinks because I really don’t want a season of crying when everyone else is laughing. That’s just no fun. And I don’t want to be gathering my stones if everyone else is able to be carefree and tossing theirs about. Nope.
I don’t want my scene like the one I saw on Highway 6 last spring. I don’t want to be out of season from everyone else. I would much prefer we all bloom and then we all shed. All at the same time. There’s safety in numbers, right?
But that’s not life. We aren’t meant to be in the exact seasons at the same time. I need to pay attention to what’s around me so that I see the full picture, not just my piece. It doesn’t matter if I’m the autumn tree or if I’m neatly growing with all of my surroundings. I need to be able to see the fresh blooms of some and the shedding leaves of others. We are meant to lean on each other and do life together. That’s where it’s beautiful. That’s why the juxtaposition works. Just look at this photo again. The colors of both seasons very much compliment each other in such a beautiful way. One stands out BECAUSE of the other. Their differences are what makes it interesting. And I think that’s how life works, too. Fresh spring flowers and autumn trees- they CAN grow together in unexpected ways.❤️