Summary: Too often, we live active and fruitful Spring & Summer seasons and then act like that’s it. We never really adjust to or accept Autumn and/or Winter. In steady of thriving during those seasons, we sometimes prefer to spend our time proverbially locking
BEING AN AUTUMN & WINTER CHRISTIAN
Pastor Todd G. Leupold PBC, PM, October 22, 2006
A little boy who lived far out in the country in the late 1800s had reached the age of twelve and had never in all his life seen a circus. You can imagine his excitement, when one day a poster went up at school announcing that on the next Saturday a traveling circus was coming to the nearby town.
He ran home with the glad news and the question, "Daddy, can I go?" Although the family was poor, the father sensed how important this was to the lad. "If you do your Saturday chores ahead of time," he said, "I’ll see to it that you have the money to go."’
Come Saturday morning, the chores were done and the little boy stood by the breakfast table, dressed in his Sunday best. His father reached down into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a dollar bill-the most money the little boy had possessed at one time in all his life. The father cautioned him to be careful and then sent him on his way to town.
The boy was so excited, his feet hardly seemed to touch the ground all the way. As he neared the outskirts of the village, he noticed people lining the streets, and he worked his way through the crowd until he could see what was happening. Lo and behold, it was the approaching spectacle of a circus parade! The parade was the grandest thing this lad had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed, bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns, midgets performed acrobatics while flags and ribbons swirled overhead.
Finally, after everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional circus clown, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face, brought up the rear.
As the clown passed by, the little boy reached into his pocket and took out that precious dollar bill. Handing the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home. What had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade!
Are you experiencing all that God has for you? The Christian life is a marvelous adventure, an exciting journey that is meant to last an entire life-time! Yet, many Christians seem to be content to float in a sea of mediocrity, settling for second best. Or, like the boy we just mentioned, they contentedly quit after the parade. They assume that is all there is to the Christian life. They either forget about the circus, or they just decide that they’ve seen/done enough. How about you - do you want the abundant life that Jesus promised?
It is important for us to look at God’s example in nature and recognize that there are likewise four seasons of our lives. After college, I spent 7 winters in Minnesota.
Notice, I said winters. You see, that’s how people count the passage of time in Minnesota. Winters there can start as early as mid-October and last as late as mid-May. In fact, the oft-quoted line is that Minnesota only has 2 seasons - winter and construction!
We laugh at that, but too often we live our Christian lives with a similar mindset. We focus on just 1 or 2 seasons of our lives, and neglect that rest. Too often, we live active and fruitful Spring & Summer seasons and then act like that’s it. We never really adjust to or accept Autumn and/or Winter. In steady of thriving during those seasons, we sometimes prefer to spend our time proverbially locking ourselves indoors and wistfully remember the Spring and Summer that no longer exists.
I confess that often our messages seem to be most geared toward those in the Summer season of their life - adults with young families. Tonight, my friends, is primarily for our older saints who are in the Autumn or Winter of their lives. And for those who, like myself, still look forward to a long remaining Summer, it is a time to reflect on our goals and expectations for our Autumn and Winter when it comes. You see, God has created and put us on this earth that our entire lives be fruitful and bring Him glory! We are NOT just “hired” to serve for a specified “career” and then retire.
PROPOSITION: Within the span of our lives, God has appointed us many seasons - a right time for everything and a purpose for every time. The way of discipleship, love and worship of God is to accept His schedule and plans for our whole lives - and to order them accordingly!
In that He has ordered our lives from the cradle to the grace and along each step of this journey, there are certain needs to be met, tasks fulfilled, problems faced and ministries to be served.