August 22, 2014 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
"For Everything There Is A Season"
I love this time of the year for two very specific reasons--fresh corn and fresh tomatoes. Between local roadside farm stands and our weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery we have been blessed with an abundance of both fresh corn and fresh tomatoes this past week. Here in Wisconsin, the window of opportunity to enjoy these fruits of the earth is small and so we take full delight in them while we can.
I think that part of the reason we truly appreciate the delicacies of fresh corn and tomatoes is the very fact that their availability is so time-limited. If these treats were available year round it would be far too easy to take them for granted and not savor them so fully.
There is a valuable lesson for me in this and that is the importance of learning to fully appreciate the abundance that the present moment has to offer, whatever that may be. I believe that every moment of life and every season of life has something wonderful and unique to offer. We simply need to have the mindfulness to discover what that is and to truly appreciate it. Living well means being able to delight in the current fruit of what life has to offer us at any given moment, knowing at the same time, that it will not last for ever.
As you delight in the abundance of the fresh fruits of the earth this time of year, I invite you to expand your thinking to other areas of your life. What other abundance is present in your life right now that perhaps will only be present for this moment in time or this season of your life? How can you be more aware and appreciative of this abundance, knowing that it will not last forever?
In the Old Testament, in the book of Ecclesiastes, it says, “For everything there is a season...a time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” While it doesn't include a line about “A time for fresh corn, and a time for fresh tomatoes” the implication of the rest of the passage is clear. Live in a way such that you fully accept and appreciate what each season of life has to offer. Take nothing for granted and savor the moment.
**I want to express my gratitude for the many people who responded to last week's column about depression. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability as you shared how this disease has affected you or someone you love. In your responses you were doing the very thing I wrote about--talking about depression and, in the process, helping to remove its stigma. Thank you.
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