Seasons In The Sun
It was the Summer of 1974 and we were driving back from camp. The youth director of our church had recruited myself, my best friend Keith, and a classmate in high school Barbie to be camp counselors that summer at a place called Living Waters Camp. We spent the whole week at the camp and he would take us home on Saturday morning and return us back Sunday night. Each week we would meet a new set of young kids experiencing their first time away from home. While we were making one of those trips a song came on the radio. It was sang by Terry Jacks and it was called “Seasons In The Sun.” Greg (the youth director and a former disc jockey) made a statement about the song “that will be a number one hit mark my word.” Greg was right, the song went straight up the charts to number one! The song was about a man that was dying and he was saying goodbye to all of his loved friends and family. It was a sad song that struck a chord with people because we all know that some day life will end and saying goodbye and recapping our lives together is something few of us get to do.
In Michigan around my birthday February 20, usually the snow is falling and it is cold. A likely scenario is coming into the house after shoveling snow from the driveway and feeling stiff and cold. At this point you are totally frustrated with winter, shoveling snow and feeling numb. You turn on the TV and the announcer makes a statement “Pitchers and Catchers are reporting to Spring Training today.” Suddenly a new hope comes over your spirit! If Pitchers and Catchers are reporting it can’t be too long until spring arrives! Suddenly there is a revived feeling that we all call spring fever! After a dormant time in winter, spring brings a newness and things start to grow again! The birds come back from their winter migration and as the weather begins to warm we start hearing them chirping!
In the big picture our lives can be compared to the seasons. Spring is the time that we were born and it goes maybe to our early 20’s. Spring is a time to learn. Much like the growth of the plants and trees around us, spring is a time for growth in our lives. Spring is a time for learning and making lasting relationships. It is a time for us to feel the sun hitting our face for the first time. It is a time, like the birds, to chirp and sing and dream big dreams as we look at the big world around us! Spring is the time for choosing our values and deciding what we want to do with the rest of our lives. It very well could be the time that we decide who we are going to spend the rest of our lives with! Spring is a little unpredictable. Sometimes we get hot days, sometime cold, many times rain. Unpredictable describes our time growing up. We are caught in the emotions of adolescence, hurt feelings and extreme highs and lows. Spring is normally a time for less responsibilities. Normally we live with our parents and they provide for us. We long to start a life of our own and leave the proverbial nest. There comes a point when we start making a life of our own and the temperature in our lives begins to rise as spring turns into summer.
Just as in the summer when the temperatures get hot, our lives go the same way. As we enter summer we are now more independant. We are willing to take on more responsibility which can be compared to the temperature rising. The summer years are maybe 23-40. Those years are a time for possibly getting married, raising a family, finding a lasting career, and living the day to day struggles that all of these things entail. Summer is a time that you balance the crazy dreams that you may have had in the spring with the reality that the world doesn’t revolve around you. It is a time for giving as we pass along life lessons to our offspring. It’s a time to realize that other people are depending on us and we are not an island. It is a time for extreme love and extreme personal satisfaction. It is also a time of extreme disappointments and extreme heartbreaks. Like summer, the heat can be extreme and very uncomfortable. There are times when you wonder if you can do all of the things that you want to get done! Near the end of summer you start to notice the leaves changing. Maybe it is your hair starting to grey, or you notice there isn’t nearly as much hair as there used to be. You start noticing aging marks in your face. These are the signs that you are entering into fall.
As fall approaches you notice that the temperature is starting to drop. Fall is roughly the ages of 41-60 in my illustration. Responsibilities generally start to decrease. Generally your kids get old enough where they are starting to make a life of their own. If you have taken care of your money, your financial responsibilities become less as maybe you get closer to paying off your home! Maybe by this time you have established a career and now you have a lot of stability in the workplace! Fall can be the best time in life as now you have a true perspective of where you came and where you are going! It is a time to think about retirement and plan vacations you may not have had time for in the summer. It’s a time to think about your children and maybe their families as many of us will become grandparents during these years. Fall is a time to give as we realize how fortunate we have been. It is probably the time in our lives that most of us think of others as the stress and heat of our own lives becomes less. Fall is some of the happiest times and yet with fall our bodies start to show us the creaks of winter setting in.
Gradually the temperatures start to go down. The leaves begin to fall off of the trees and you notice that things are not as pleasant. By this time your body reminds you of seasons past. You find that your loved ones are more concerned about you instead of the other way around. You find that things you took for granted such as driving could come into question. You have extreme knowledge from experiencing past seasons, but your body may not be able to move you around like before. Like the birds leaving you realize that you may soon be leaving too. Winter can be a very hard time as we may become dependant upon other people. Our memory and hearing most likely will get worse and we may think of things of seasons gone by instead of the present. Winter is a time for things like pensions, social security, and estate planning .
The group “The Byrds’ had a song years ago called “Turn! Turn! Turn!.” The words were “To everything (turn turn turn), there is a season, (turn turn turn), and a time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep.” You will find all of the words where the song writer found them, in the Bible, Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verses 1-9!
While there is a time for everything some have more time than others. Many die in their spring, summer, or fall years before ever reaching winter. Obviously there are no guarantees in life as to how many seasons we see. Terry Jacks “Seasons in the Sun” song had a good thought, tell the people you love how much they have meant to you! Nobody wants to say goodbye, but when it comes down to it, goodbyes don’t have to be forever. God made a plan for all of us to get to heaven after our seasons here on earth are over. It starts by accepting Jesus Christ into your life as soon as possible. If you haven’t done that consider accepting him now! We all are concerned about our estate and things of that nature but what about us? What about our fate after we leave here? Since we have been talking about songs and lyrics I leave you with this songs lyrics by Paul McCartney and Wings. It may not be what Paul had in mind but consider that Jesus knocks on everyones heart door. “Someone’s knocking at the door, somebody’s ringing the bell, someone’s knocking at the door, somebody’s ringing the bell, do me a favor, open the door and let him in!” This one decision will lead you to eternal life and an everlasting season in the sun with the son!