We spent a week away recently, with family on a sheep farm near Graaf Reinet in the Karoo. We usually visit the farm in the June/July school holidays, during the middle of Winter when it is very very very cold. For various reasons we went in March this year. I had always assumed that aside from sheep, a few Kudu and some Springbok, no animals lived in the Karoo. What I realised this year, is that all the other animals are smart enough to either hibernate or move for the cold winter months, because the veld was alive with all sorts of creatures: Rabbits, Spring Hares, Jackal, Duiker, Porcupines, Bats, insects of all kinds and even an unpleasant encounter with a Cape Cobra (or two). The veld was not empty, it just looked different during Winter, changing with the seasons, and following its own rhythms of growth and sleep and life and rest.
One of the most helpful pieces of wisdom passed on to me was around the seasons in our own lives, and learning to recognise our own rhythms. We too experience winters of feeling like there is nothing, or the grief of autumn as we sense the end of something. But we also know the fullness of summer growth, and the hope of spring-time newness. And while some seasons might be harder than others, or last longer than we would like, they all have their place in our story, which is always changing as we are. Every season we find ourselves in has something to offer us, and can reveal something for us about who God is and who we are.
Lent is a helpful time of reflection, so perhaps as you continue your Lenten journey you can take some time to consider the seasons of your life – what they have looked like and where God has been present – and what season you might be in now. Is God doing something new, or are you waiting out winter? Maybe Winter is Coming :) Each season is part of our story, and each will look different. But each season has something to offer us, and the world, as God continues to work in us and through us.
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