I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, surrounded by the mountains of Western North Carolina. I love our mountains, streams, lakes, trees, and sunrises. But, one of the things I love most about where I live is that we enjoy four seasons. We have a brisk spring, mild summers, an unbelievably bright fall, and snowy winters. I love the rhythm of the seasons that we experience here.
This winter was different than other years. It came late and left early, literally lasting 6 weeks or so and then gave way to spring. Trees have budded, flowers are blooming, and landscape crews are out in force. All indications winter is gone. This is noteworthy. The calendar says winter but the weather says spring.
Seasons can suddenly change in our own lives as well. It is imperative that we know the season we are living in. Different seasons carry with them different rules, values and graces. For instance, you’d be foolish to plant in winter. Winter is for rest, gathering supplies and repairing equipment. You’d be foolish to try and harvest in the spring. Spring is for planting. It is the season of possibility and hope.
This year marks a big birthday for me. The calendar tells me I am entering the “fall” season of my life. But, I don’t feel like it at all. I feel like I am entering “spring”. I know what my chronological age says. But, I also know what “time” it is in my spirit. I tell you it is springtime! I am not preparing for winter. I am alive with possibility and hope and intend to sow more seed in this season than I have ever sown before! I would like to challenge you as I am myself and others; do not let your age dictate your season. Let God determine what season you are in and enjoy it thoroughly. For more on this subject visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsOfXZOQGtE&t=10s
I was with someone recently, discussing a problem that they are working through. I encouraged them to take it seriously and deal with the issue with urgency. As part of that conversation, I told him about a church service that I will never forget.
I was visiting another church to observe its culture and to interview their worship pastor. It just so happened to be Super Bowl Sunday and they were having a Sunday night service. If you’re going to have a service that competes against the Super Bowl, you are going to have to do something unusual and extraordinary. That is exactly what they did.
During the sermon, two men walked out on the platform carrying a two to three foot alligator. They set the alligator down; un-taped his mouth, and let him go. He hissed and lunged back and forth. The pastor continued to speak even though no one was listening. Everyone was watching the small alligator to see what it would do.
After several minutes, the men returned, grabbed the alligator and re-taped his mouth and carried it off the stage. The pastor regained the attention of the crowd while never explaining why he had loosed an alligator on stage. Then, suddenly, six guys walked out on stage with a six to eight foot alligator and set it down. They un-taped the alligator’s mouth and let it go. It immediately lunged towards the congregation. The two front rows quickly cleared as the people ran towards the back of the room. As before, the pastor continued speaking although no one was listening. About five minutes later, the six men came back and recaptured the alligator, re-taped its mouth and carried it off the stage.
Once the pastor regained everyone’s attention, he made this point. Little alligators can wound you, but they can’t kill you. Big alligators can. Deal with your sin and your problems when they are little. They may seem harmless when small, but don’t play with things that can grow and eventually destroy your life. I will never forget that service or that lesson. I hope you won’t either. For more on this subject visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsOfXZOQGtE