Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Eye 2 Eye: When Seasons Change

By Bishop Charles Scott
It is inevitable. The seasons will eventually change. Regardless of the warmth of the summer breezes it will give way to cool fall nights. And the winter chills will not last forever; spring will announce its arrival with gentle warm winds, soft green shoots pushing themselves from the cold ground and birds that refuse to hush their singing. The Bible declares it: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) This is an absolute.

It is frustrating to be in the wrong season at the wrong time. A recent trip to the Northwest proved this point as our family went prepared for 90-degree weather. We forgot to check the Weather Channel and discovered 65-degree weather. Someone commented to us, “Oh, you must have enjoyed the cooler weather.” We smiled and nodded, but truthfully, no, we did not enjoy the cooler weather; we did not have a jacket or a sweater or a hoodie or a blanket. We were in the wrong season, prepared for the wrong season, expecting the wrong season and suffering in the wrong season. No one can enjoy being in the wrong season. You can pretend, you can put on, you can act, you can make believe, you can confess, but you know when you are unprepared for the season. This means you are not relevant.

Nestled away in the annals of Israel’s history is a powerful verse of Scripture: “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment” (1 Chronicles 12:32). An understanding of the times means that these individuals knew the season, had insight into the proper response to the season, and possessed the leadership credibility to lead others through the seasonal transitions of life. These men matured beyond pretense, refused to live in denial, faced the facts and led others to do the same. This means they were connected.

It is entirely possible to get older but remain immature. It is tragic to anesthetize ourselves with the busyness of religious activity, inebriate ourselves with contradictions, and distract ourselves with non-essentials and miss the next season. It is tragic to age but never move forforward; to get closer to retirement but not closer to a productive life; or to advance in years but refuse to advance in spiritual growth. That tragedy is global.

I must admit that it happened to me. I never thought I would see the day. It came in the mail. The application to join AARP arrived just the other day. I tore it to pieces and threw it away, smirking that I am way too young to start ordering off the senior menu. Then I found myself retrieving the invitation in order to learn just exactly what opportunity I had discarded in my state of denial. And then I heard the Lord ask, “What are you missing because you do not know your season, and what have you thrown away because you did not agree with the season?”

As I pondered the unfair below-the-belt questioning of the Lord, I reflected that we are made in the image and the likeness of God. And our Father God is a creator. From the opening lines of Scripture, the Bible declares the creative power of God. Therefore, we who are made in the likeness of God were birthed to be creative. We were born to kill giants, subdue devils, shout down impregnable walls, cross briny seas, preach life into graveyards, see into the eternal, touch the invisible, do the impossible and perform the unimaginable because we are the people of the Most High God. It requires maturity of thought to embrace the next season.

We will fail if we cannot shift with the seasons. We will become crystallized by doing outward religious duty without experiencing inward Godly transformation. We will become formalized by stagnated thinking that is not transformed by the renewing of the mind of Christ. We will become institutionalized by endeavoring to hold to a season that has passed rather than reaching for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Our last days, our next seasons should be better than the last. For those of us who declare, “WE ARE PCG,” we sense a shift is coming in the seasons. There is an expectation that the glory of the latter will be greater than the glory of the former; the anointing will be a double portion; the fruit will be increased; and the last days will be the best days. But when it arrives, let’s pray we can see it and not throw it away. I hope we see that eye to eye, because we are PCG.

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