Nature’s seasonal transitions are seamless. In our yard this year, the seasonal change began with a few leaves turning yellow at the inside core of the still-green tree, slowly expanding its color outward until its full blown brilliance signaled that Autumn is deepening into Winter’s arrival. While many of us don’t like to see Winter come, we are meant to gain much inner peace by observing the rhythm and flow of the natural environment.
Wild animals don’t dread winter: they naturally accept it and make preparations for the natural change of season. As humans, we are too “civilized” for our own good, always wanting perpetual summer and for the things in our lives to which we are so attached to never change. We frequently fear change and do everything in our power to resist it. Yet change is a law of life and all change has a higher natural purpose.
Consider for a brief moment how your own life has changed over the years. Are you the exact same person–in viewpoint, appearance, and interests–that you were two decades ago? Ten years ago? Five?
In spite of the dreams that have come and gone, the ideals that were necessarily forfeited or the goals that were not achieved, you are–on this day and in this season–a unique demonstration of life’s cycles of change. Creation has wrought you.
Natural change is a sculptor and creator of breath-taking wonder. The nearby mountain might have become a valley instead, had the forces that shaped it taken a different turn. The desert might be an ocean. But who is to say which would have been better? The unique value of what is, not what might have been, is the reality brought into being by change…the incredible beauty of life right here, and right now.
Many say “If only I had done this,” or “If only I were still young” or “If only this had happened” without knowing the futility and harsh detriment of such thoughts. Who is to say that each one of us is not who we need to be right now, where we need to be right now…considering the forces that have shaped our lives and brought us to this very point in time? The outside forces of our lives are, as with the natural world, in a constant state of change and just as we accept the seasons of nature, we need to adjust to the cycles of our own lives.
Much unhappiness comes from not accepting life’s cycles of change. There is indeed a time for every season under the sun: a time to act and a time to retreat; a time to work and a time to play; a time to grow and a time to rest; a time to laugh and a time to weep; a time to be young and a time to be merely young at heart.
Too many needlessly suffer because they do not understand or accept life’s cycles of change. We are so focused on our artificial living environments instead of the natural world of which we are an inseparable part. To attune to the changes in your personal life and come to peace (even rejoicing) with the new opportunities that change brings to you, spend more time in nature. Step off the consuming treadmill of materialistic existence and spend reflective time in the presence of what is real, not man-made.
There are immense changes coming in our global and social environment. Holding on to material things and manufactured beliefs will not stop the natural, necessary cycles of change. This is the season to prepare yourself by becoming aware of the greater cycles of life and of your own spiritual purpose in this world…a part of divine nature, not apart from it.
Even during the cold and barren seasons of our lives–as with nature’s Winter–we must remember there will be seasons ahead of warmth, light, hope, and love. Springtime of the endless Soul always comes again. Always.
Change, even when we don’t want it, is its own kind of spiritual gift. Learn to not fear change and make friends with the opportunities it will bring you. Such is life…and it is very, very good.