I look out into the morning, and I notice the dark frosted ground is littered with leaves. Daylight is still waiting beyond the horizon, but in the dim light of morning I see the barren trees silhouetted against the gray skyline with only a few sparse leaves still clinging to their branches and I realize that although the calendar may not herald in winter for another month it has arrived – ushered in early by a long season of drought.
This change of seasons has come unnoticed by me as I have passed the days in a whir of activity coming and going in the dark of short winter days, and yet as I look out into the morning I realize that I have been oblivious of the fact that while I was traveling to and fro in the dark, the seasons were changing without my notice or thought.
As I stand here gazing into the shadows of pre-dawn, I feel the chill of morning in the air and I think about how much nature mirrors life. Some may talk about the seasons of our natural lives, as we pass from child to parent to grandparent, while others speak of the seasons in our spiritual lives, but I am convinced that most of the time they are really one in the same and that the spiritual man can and should reflect the natural seasons of change in our lives.
But however we choose to reflect on it, life is a series of seasons, passing subtly from one to another, and I wonder how often I have hurried on in the dark and not noticed the changing world around me as one season quietly faded into the next until I suddenly look up and realize life has changed. Sometimes the seasons (particularly winter) are ushered in more rapidly by a whirlwind pace that depletes the life giving waters of rest and solitude much like the west Texas wind has dried the water starved land this summer carrying away valuable, life-supporting topsoil.
Looking out upon the barren trees, I realize how desperately they need water. We have had a few rains this fall, but it has been too little, too late, and the trees bare evidence of their suffering despite my feeble efforts to keep them watered. Even though they are in a dormant season of winter, I know I must water them if they are to bring forth new buds and fresh leaves in the spring. They need water so they will live though winter and not die before they are able to bring forth new life.
I am so thankful that I have a source of water that is easy to access and that from deep within the ground there springs life giving water that I can offer to my thirsty trees. It reminds me of the life giving waters of refreshment to which my spirit also has access and I rejoice that we can be like the tree planted by the water that brings forth its fruit in season. The tree which David speaks of in Psalms has access and drinks deep from the water in all seasons, so that it can bring forth in season. I find it comforting to note that it is still subject to the seasons and that while it lies dormant through the dark season of winter it continues to drink deep of the cold water so that its branches may be laden with fruit in season.