Faces on Faith: For everything there is a season
Having been raised in New England, I’m very familiar with the saying, “Just wait a minute and the weather will change.”
Which is why living these six years in Florida has been such a change! Although in the recesses of my mind, I’m always ready for the sun to turn to grey skies and rain.
And that’s just what occurred this week as the sun became hidden by damp clouds.
But, in spite of the disappointment the weather is for those on vacation from the cold north, we do need those rainy days, those changes in climate, those days out of the hot sun – we need it and so do the fauna and flora that exist alongside us.
Disruptions or chances in weather patterns nourish some humans and disturb others. Some of us are able to live with change and times of unknowing.
Some of us yearn for eternal blue skies and absolute continuity of daily life.
But change happens and needs to happen. Margaret Mead once said that “change and continuity are actually two sides of the same coin.”
We need change and transitions in our lives in order to maintain a level of continuity and emotional stabilization. As life around us changes – whether planned or a surprise – we need to develop and change within to adjust and find new levels of continuity in order to survive physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
All this said, I’m not having such an easy time with change this season. And it’s not the weather that’s bothering me – it’s humanity around me.
Too much illness forcing many people into the hospital. Too many difficult transitions between retirement and relocation, between independent living and the decision to move to assisted living. Too many unemployment worries.
Too many deaths – some with no warning at all. Yet, even as I write this I know the cycle of life must go on. What warms my heart and soul is that the cycle of love and God’s Holy Spirit also weaves itself into the ever-changing mix.
Hebrew Scripture probably describes the mysterious cycle of live and love best. From Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to break down and a time to build up. At time to weep and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to seek and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away.”
Wherever you are in your cycle of life – even as life’s transitions propel you from weeping to laughing, from mourning to dancing, from bright skies to cloudy moments – know that the love you offer and the love you receive are what gets us through the changes.
Know that God’s love and grace ARE present in all of us, and continuity in our communities will be strengthened by how we use that love not to break down but to build up.
-Rev. Dr. Ellen Sloan, Rector, St. Michael’s & All Angels, Episcopal Church