Since I moved to the country I have noticed that each season has its own feel and smell. About the first week of October the morning air becomes crisp and dry, for Florida anyway, and I know fall has arrived. It may leave a week later, but we know that by the first of November it is generally here to stay.
Then shortly before the holiday season I will be greeted by the smell of wood fires and a damp cold that seeps into your bones. I lived in Illinois for two years so I know what below zero weather is like, but even up there you could quickly run the trash out in your shirtsleeves at 45 degrees. Down here that same temperature will set your teeth chattering in just a few short minutes. It’s winter!
Sometime around Valentine’s Day the warm sunshine on your back spreads like a soothing ointment, and soon the air is heavy with the perfume of azaleas, dogwoods, gardenias, wisteria and the first roses of the year. Rakes scratch the ground and black plastic bags stack up in every yard. The acrid smell of burning leaves fills the air and the spring green of new leaves lights up the sky. Jack Frost may paint your garden one more time in March, but spring has definitely sprung!
By the first of May a wet morning fog drips on until about 10, and the flower smells have mellowed into the watermelon smell of new-mown grass. Just standing outside for ten minutes will leave your hair damp with both humidity and perspiration. The long, hot summer has begun.
It has taken awhile but now I relish every change of season. I used to wish away the long, humid summers precisely because they were that way. Then when my children started school, I wished away the rest of the year because the summer was the only time I had them to myself. But I spent the first part of my life wishing it away as well. I couldn’t wait to start school. Then I couldn’t wait for college. Then I couldn’t wait to get married. Then I couldn’t wait to have children. And now what? I have an empty nest and my life is well over half over. Is that why we say that middle age brings wisdom? Why did it take so long for me to figure this out?
God wants us to enjoy our lives. Yes, we suffer trials and even some minor persecution. But as much as is possible he expects us to live well and laugh well. 1 Pet 3:10 …love life and see good days. Psa 118:24, This is the day which Jehovah has made; rejoice and be glad in it. Eccl 3:11, He has made everything beautiful in its time, also he has set eternity in their hearts. Eccl 5:18, Behold that which I have seen to be good and comely is for one to eat and to drink and to enjoy good in all his labor wherein he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him, for this is his portion. Finally, I have learned to take joy in every day.
If you are still young, don’t wish your life away. It may seem that your children will never grow up, that you will never have time for yourself and your spouse again, that everything you really want is somewhere out there in the future. Take a minute and look around. God wants you to enjoy the present. If you cannot learn that now, then when those future things come along, you won’t know how to enjoy them either. I have seen so many who are never satisfied with what they have, and who ruin the time they have left looking for something better. Learn to be happy and content because one of these days you may find yourself wishing you had back all those days you wished away in the first place.
He that would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears unto their supplication. But the face of the Lord is upon those who do evil, 1 Pet 3:10-12.