IT IS FALL AGAIN IN NORTH AMERICA
Normally this season would be filled with all sorts of fun fall activities. There are football games, hayrides, haunted houses, and family get-togethers to celebrate various holidays — all of these, coinciding with the return of students to school.
Even in parts of Florida, the weather begins to get cooler and the days shorter. The change to a more comfortable temperature brings fun outdoor activities such as picking apples in an orchard, hiking, or visiting a pumpkin patch. For those who experience hot summers, fall brings a welcome change.
And the change is beautiful. Even during a pandemic or polarizing political season, nature begs us to step outside and take a look. Other than Central Florida, where I am writing this post, leaves in the trees will burst in vibrant fall colors of yellow, orange, and red. I used to love walking through the fallen leaves, hearing them crunch under my feet. I have such beautiful memories of the season from years gone by.
THE TIME OF HARVEST
Here in North America, Fall is also the time to harvest. Crops that were planted in late spring or early summer are now ready to be gathered. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 what many people might know because of the song, sung by The Byrds, "To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to reap."
That is the business of life: season by season, to learn our place in time.
There is a Law of Sowing and Reaping that cannot be avoided, "What you sow, you will reap." If you plant nothing, you will have nothing to harvest. If you sow seeds of anger and fear, do not expect to reap joy and peace. On the other hand, if you work hard and are disciplined, you will see the results. Harvest time is when the result is visible to everyone; every task you undertook without anyone noticing will be seen in the outcome.
But hard work without rest leads to burnout and unsatisfactory results. It will require discipline to take the breaks you need. Solomon also wrote, "I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and do good in their lives, and also that every man (and woman) should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God." There is a waiting period between sowing and reaping, so take advantage of the time for rest and relaxation.
FALL IS A TIME OF CHANGE
It is not too late to make essential changes in how you live your life, your habits, and your career goals. If we only live day-to-day, we will miss the seasons of life. Some of you may have habits that keep you from focusing on the long-term harvest, and as a result, your life is unfulfilled. How many seasons of your life will pass by before you decide to change?
How do you adapt when changes come? Do you resist it, welcome it, or try to tiptoe into it?
Change comes with every season, but those prepared for it will thrive during times of change. The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 affected everyone, but those who adapted to change quickly were far more productive.
When we were in school, we were tested by exams to know how well we had learned what was taught. Life brings us these tests, too; it is up to each one us to use these opportunities for self-examination. When you face a season of change, ask yourself, "What do I want to harvest?" and "Am I doing what needs to be done to reap that harvest?". Then make whatever changes are necessary to have the best results possible.
Enjoy this season and every season, because every season we can work is a gift from God.