A new season
By Steven Scheid
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal . . . a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . . a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
. . . I have seen the burdens, God has laid on the human race.
––Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, 8 and 10
With all the changes in how we live, we could be forgiven for missing the changes of the seasons.
A virus began at the end of winter, a lockdown came in the spring, and social distancing continued in summer.
Today, early mornings have taken on a chill. Maple trees are changing color.
Another change is coming.
The Byrds’ 1965 song Turn! Turn! Turn! is based on Ecclesiastes 3, but the vocal harmonies and twelve-string guitar cover the more shocking nature of the message. Verse 10 says, “I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.”
Many feel burdened. We are in the fall.
It is the same leaves of past spring that will rot into the nourishment of spring. Rotting is not a glamorous process. Do we judge the leaves from last spring because they have fallen? In the heat of summer, we enjoyed their shade. Now they decompose. They smell and turned black.
History follows this cycle. As we look at the past, some see only the mulch pile––the rot and decay. Others remember the full cycle, buds, leaves, fall, decomposition and new growth.
Let us use the decay of the past to plant a brighter future. If the gardener is intentional, the benefits of the past come quickly in the spring.
Join us in planting so that out of the errors of the past and challenges of the present will come new gardens and forests in the future.
Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministries
General Commission on UM Men