By Sophie Heinsohn
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV
“I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!” Anne Shirley is one of my favorite literary characters, and I could not agree with her more about Octobers. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, beautiful for the leaves changing, the crisp air and the time spent around fire pits roasting marshmallows and being in community. Yet I have to remind myself that each season has a purpose, as does each season of our lives. Seasons provide an opportunity to live and serve others well according to our current circumstances. As October begins, I am reminded to reflect on, and enjoy, the current season of my life. Just as the Lord made seasons for the earth, He has made seasons for us to live to the fullest. What season are you in?
Seasons are an opportunity for us to grow and live out our callings, but they are also an opportunity for us to help others who are in a season we have been in previously. Each season represents a part of our life and a part of the plans God has for us.
In spring, new life bursts forth in the glorious blooms of flowers. Summer, in Charleston, blooms humidity and tourists but also days of the abundant sunshine, fun and gladness. Fall is a season that sometimes gets overlooked. People talk about the fall as though it is a time of death, but though the leaves fall, the trees do not die. Fall is a time to recharge, to refocus on what really matters and to grow stronger again for spring. The golds, oranges and reds of autumn are some of the most beautiful of the year. Winter is a perfect time to be quiet and restful, continuing the recharging process of fall.
As the verses in Ecclesiastes show, there are also seasons for how we interact with others and how we live our lives. I think of the seasons we are each in, whether a season to work or a season to retire. With each of these seasons, how do we live them to the best? The more we recognize the beauty in each season, the more we can thrive, by living our lives well and serving others. Perhaps in our jobs we can do things that help others; perhaps someone who is retired can volunteer or mentor. Each season has its own beauty.
Fall, winter, spring and summer are all necessary for the next season to be its best. So, too, when we live, our own seasons, and the seasons of those around us, improve on the previous season. A book I greatly enjoy is If You Can Keep It by Eric Metaxas. He gives the potent reminder that America has never been selfish about her freedom but works to share it with others — and where can this start but with her people? Our seasons are not merely our own, but we can be vessels for helping others through our experiences and circumstances.
I am indeed glad to live in a world of Octobers. There is something so special about this season we are entering, but there is also something special about the season we are in within our lives, especially when we embrace each season and live it to its fullest.
Hailing from Charleston originally, Sophie Heinsohn has lived up and down the Eastern Seaboard, which fostered an interest in history and its present-day cultural implications. With a bachelor’s degree in government from Liberty University, Sophie is now pursuing a master’s in writing and looks forward to merging these passions in the future.