“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NAB) This weekend our family celebrated our very last camping trip of the season. I am amazed we were able to make it until October, living in North Dakota. As we walked on trails, we heard the leaves crumble under our feet.
We had to go into our camper early from the fire because it got a bit chilly for the littles. Darkness came much earlier than it did back in August…In August we had to wait until almost 11:00pm to see stars, last night we saw stars at 9:00pm. As I sat in front of the fire last night, the reading from Ecclesiastes came into my head. It could be that it was a recent daily reading, but I get a little sad and nostalgic at this time of the year.
If you live in the northern Midwest, you know that our days of warmth and sunshine are limited. In the beautiful moments of the changing of seasons, I was sadly struck that the light of day seems to fade more and more each day. The dwindling daylight seems to always be forefront in my mind during this season, because in our family, we quickly go from two drivers to one driver…my husband cannot drive during non-daylight hours. However, in my ponderings, my mind did not shift to the loss of daylight, but instead the loss of the light of God.
This last week has been a rough week for Americans. It started with our first presidential debate of 2020. In the past I would never have watched the debates, but I thought it would be great for my children as we are all studying US History this year. Twenty seconds into the debate my 11-year-old stated, “This is just two grown men arguing about nothing!” At the end of the debate this same daughter said, “I am terrified for our country!” This may not have been the history lesson that I was hoping to teach my children, but nonetheless, it was important. I think I learned more from them and their reactions that night than they learned from the debate…in fact, I am sure of it. Then at the end of the week we found out that our current president and first lady have COVID-19. Spending time on social media has been terribly disheartening. I cannot believe that there are people in the world that wish another human being death because they do not agree with him or the way that he runs our country. This should not surprise me anymore, but it does.
During my thoughts and prayers, I asked God, “Where are you?” “Where are you in a world where other humans desire death for another who thinks differently than they do?” “Why does our world treat one another so poorly?” I began to wonder if I was odd, because in all my ponderings, there is no way I can ever imagine wishing ill or death on someone who thinks differently than I do. God silently reminded me that I am not odd. (Well not odd in this way! I am odd in many other ways!) God also reminded me that He is in this world, He has not abandoned us, though it may seem so. Ecclesiastes came back into my head. God reminded me that people get it wrong. They hear, “There is a time to love, and a time to hate!” They feel justified in hating those that are different than them, when we know that is not what God meant. They feel they have permission…they feel they are justified. However, God asks us to hate what is evil and hold onto and love that which is good. Human beings themselves are not evil…We cannot wish death on those who think differently. Instead, we are called to love them, called to pray for them, called to wish them well. Jesus clearly states, “Love your enemies, “NOT, “Kill your enemies!”
So yes, there is a season for everything, but in theses seasons we must truly understand what we are called to do! We are not called to hate others, but to hate what is evil. We are not called to be silent to mistreatment of others, but to speak when God calls us to speak. We are called to weep at misfortune, not laugh at it. I think you get the point. What is Jesus calling of us? What season of your life are you in? Where is God calling you? I know I am called to always make His light even brighter in this world I live in, how am I going to do this? So when the cold winds start to chill our bones, the trees are bare because all of the leaves have fallen, and the light of day seems to have faded much, much to early, remember, that if God’s light is not shining as brightly as you had hoped, maybe you are called to radiate that light. How will you be His light?