Reasons, Seasons, and Lifetime Journeys

Today’s scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Ciemone Easter-Rose):

We’ve all heard the saying about people coming into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It is not only people that this applies to, but also places, experiences, and even things. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” How often do we pause to give thanks for our various seasons though? Do we appreciate the journeys that we’ve traveled, even if the roads were rough along the way? For many of us, our spiritual journeys have consisted of difficult to navigate pathways and may have even undergone several shifts over time. I know that my own lifetime spiritual journey has consisted of many different seasons, and I feel myself embarking on yet another in the near future. As the year comes to a close and a new path draws near, I find it especially important to reflect on the past and hopefully learn something about navigating the future. While change is difficult, it is also necessary at times to accept in order to move forward. In the process we may find that what we thought was a reason actually translates to a season, and that what we thought would last a lifetime, really was just meant for a moment in time.

When I reflect on my spiritual journey, first and most salient for me was my relationship with my great-grandmother. She was with me for the first 16 years of my life, and then she was gone. She wasn’t there for a lifetime, but her impression on me probably will be. She was certainly with me for a season though. And most definitely for a reason. She brought me to Christ. It was as much her death as it was her life that brought this about. To me, reason denotes a purpose; an intentional one at that. While she lived, she demonstrated to me what a life of loving and following Christ could look like. At the same time, while she lived, it was only her that I really clung to. When she passed away, she moved from being a reason in my life to being a season in it. Seasons do what seasons do–they denote change. When my season with her ended, I changed, and so did my relationship with God.

In spite of the pain that came with the loss of my great-grandmother, today I remain grateful for the reason behind her presence in my life, the season of change that followed it, and the lifetime of influence she left upon me. When I really reflect upon it, I think that I can say that about a lot of other things as well. Even things I wouldn’t ordinarily be grateful for. For example, the people who doubted me, put me down, underestimated, tried to sabotage, and even those who have hurt me–they all represent reasons and seasons as well. Just as much as an experience of joy or elation, learning or discovering, growth or maturation, progress or goal attainment do. As for what will ultimately amount to a lifetime–it’s hard to be certain of that. For some things there is a choice. Others–fate perhaps. But regardless, I know I can appreciate every reason, season, and lifetime journey to come.

Thought/Question for the Day: Whether you’re searching for a reason, transitioning through a season, or navigating a lifetime journey–remember that there is purpose, there is change, and there is something to be grateful for in it all.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.