❝The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’❞ Genesis 18: 13-14
Reflection by Sandra Giles
“To everything-turn, turn, turn
There is a season-turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven.”
Nature follows, in general, a predictable rhythm. Summer matures into fall. Winter releases to spring. Animals, plants, and insects are born, grow, reproduce, die.
Twenty-first century human culture complicates that rhythm significantly. School must be completed by a certain age, career established by a certain age, followed by marriage, children. Then mid-life re-invention, retirement on the golf course–all with an underlying belief that all of it ought to be that way.
But not everyone’s path through life is the same. Some of us have our own set of seasons.
My college students feel heavy pressure to chart their lives at age eighteen, to decide for certain what major and career they want. And to get to it, chop-chop. I used to watch a haunted-house television show called The Others. In one of the spookiest scenes I’ve ever seen anywhere, a creature of smoke and fog, like a wraith, hems a college girl up against a wall to whisper right in her face, “What do you want?” The question paralyzes the girl.
In the Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff tells us about a day when Winnie-The-Pooh can’t decide what to do. Should he go ask Owl a question? Should he check on Piglet? Should he see what Roo is up to? In Taoist fashion, Pooh goes back into his house for some honey. Later, he finds himself at Piglet’s, decision made. In going back inside, he listened to his inner nature, which he’d not been able to hear in the clash of competing options and obligations.
In trying to find our purpose in life, our mission, we can get confused pressuring ourselves to figure out what we want to do. There are too many options these days. And feeding our own wants, our egos, doesn’t feel right. A more spiritual question is what we feel called to do. But to get to that, we have to step back and watch ourselves. Sense our inner nature. Listen to the still, silent voice of God.
Only then can we read our own seasons and hear the Lord in his set time.