• Teresa Hensley

Each Season has a Purpose

The Farm Teaches Me About Seasons

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven:

4:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…

Seasons. Which is your favorite?

Are you a spring chick, loving all things new and blooming?

A summer lover, the hotter the better, who curses the weatherman at any hint that you might need to close the pool?

Or, do you belong to the cult of fall worshipers? You know the ones, the pumpkin spice latte, bonfire, sweater weather wearing people. I love them, but my goodness. I too love fall, but these folks will dress in oranges and browns until Christmas Eve, paint pumpkins and leaves on their fingernails and eat anything seasoned with artificial pumpkin flavor. Lol

Then there are those few who worship winter. Are you one of the chosen? I’ve not met many, but there are those diehards dedicated to their snow. A friend we went to church with years ago, moved to Montana. When those snows come, she is ecstatic. I love watching her post pictures, beginning with the first snowfall. Her excitement doesn’t waver all the way up to those last, early spring flakes. I have never seen anyone who loves winter more than this lady. God knew what he was doing when he called her and her husband to minister in this winter wonderland.

I guess I’d have to call myself a seasons girl. All seasons. I love all the seasons. I love that there is a change of seasons. I love that I live in a place where the seasons are somewhat distinct. I especially love the beginning of each season.

September 23rd, 3:50 a.m. marks the “changing of the guards”, if you will, for this current trip around the sun. As summer hands off the duties of sunlight, weather, changing plant cycles and internal human clocks, the Fall Equinox takes place.

While the transition from summer to autumn is gradual (most years), the exact equinox happens within a precise 60-second time frame. September 23rd, 3:50 a.m. As the earth orbits the sun and concurrently the earth spins on its tilted axis, the equator is in precise alignment with the sun.

Our fall equinox this year was September 23rd at 3:50 a.m., well… those of us in the Northern Hemisphere that is… specifically for those of us also in the Western Hemisphere. For our neighbors, in Sydney, Australia, an entirely different thing is happening. They are experiencing the spring equinox.

While I’m dumbfounded by the magnitude of this constant, steady, scientific process that a mighty God orchestrates, it’s the evidence of this phenomenon that speaks to my heart. I’m never underamazed as I drive daily into town during this season change. And, the ripples of orange sky at sunset during autumn will always take my breath away… even if I live to experience 100 more trips around the sun.

The pumpkins and mums, the leaves and bailed hay, the acorns, and dead cornstalks, the sweaters, the fires, the extra blankets, all quicken my spirit. Each thing that uniquely defines each new season saturates every sense I have. Right now, in my North Georgia farm community, I’m drinking in autumn. During this 54th trip around the sun, I’m amazed all over again that the BIG God who created such an astronomical marvel (literally… and figuratively) chose to bless me with the resulting equinox beauties right in my backdoor. Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.

I’m a farmer and a gardener at heart so maybe this is one reason I experience all the seasons with such passion. The farmer understands the importance of seasons to his crops and his livestock.

While I admire the animal husbandry part of farming, I’m not the expert. My husband is. He knows when to butcher and when not to butcher. He understands breeding techniques, pros, and cons of hogs, cattle, chickens and more. He knows how to get the best crossbreed. He recently told me how to breed one type of cow with another breed to get specific markings on the face of the cattle. Seasons are critical in breeding, in butchering, and in taking care of livestock.

My husband’s least favorite part of farming is my greatest; I love all things horticulture on the farm. A tiny dormant seed put into brown dirt and results in a green plant—tell me that doesn’t blow your mind. Or, the amazing perennial plants, faithfully coming back year after year. Often, growing wild, these beneficial plants give us free groceries from God—blackberries, watercress, “poke salad”. I’d rather comb through a seed catalogue in the winter than shop at Macy’s. Getting dirt under my fingernails and smelling “new earth” in the spring is better than a manicure to me. And, in the summer I wear the scratches from wild blackberry thorns like badges of honor. Every season matters in the world of plants.

I recently read somewhere (probably on a farming blog) that farming is fueled by science, but rooted in faith. Genesis 8:22 affirms the reliance on the seasons While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. This reliance on the Christian, in particular, the Christian farmer, is not in putting faith in science and neglecting faith in God. Rather, it is total dependence on the God who created these seasons of seedtime, harvest, cold, heat, etc. It is a faith that abides even when the season seems “off” or completely wrong. It is a trust that the season is just that—a season. It won’t last forever. As King Solomon teaches us in Ecclesiastes, seasons come and go, ebb and flow, but each with a purpose. Even those seasons that seem “off”, they have a purpose. So it is with our lives, each season has a purpose. As we look to Christ, our redeemer, we learn to trust our season because we know God created the season with us in mind. BUT ultimately, he created us for his purpose and his honor. Each season in our life is a chance to shed the light of his glory in order to bring others to him and to magnify him.

The farmer also realizes there are other seasons. There are seasons within and outside of the spring and fall equinoxes and the winter and summer solstices. There are dry seasons and wet seasons. There can be cold seasons and hot seasons. There can be fat seasons and lean seasons. There can be active seasons and dormant seasons.

For about the last 7 trips around the sun, God’s been teaching me about the dormant season.

(Yes, this is a to be continued blog post. More to come about the dormant season.)

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