Years ago, and many centuries apart, King Solomon (900’s BC) and the Byrd’s ( a 1960’s band) proclaimed the truth that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) They were poetically repeating what God had promised Noah in the most ancient of times, “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
Maine is blessed with these special seasons of “seed time and harvest” and “summer and winter”. But fall is both magnificent and vitally important. Before the leaves flame out in glorious splendor, we reap the bounty of Spring seeding, the colorful fruits and grains of harvest time.
Earth’s seasons are a metaphor for our lives. It is God’s justice that we will reap fruit from seeds that we sow. (Galatians 6:7-9) That thought is a timely reminder for us in this contentious, reactive culture. Discord will produce discord, offensive words will be met with adverse reactions, and anger and distrust will cause rebellion.
New Testament writers tell us that “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18) Those writers also encourage us to not tire of “doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9)
There will always be differences of opinions and approaches, but tension can be beneficial and result in healthy compromise. However, World Views will clash with little chance of compromise because belief systems do not easily change and because we have difficulty understanding ideologies different from our own or why people think differently than we do. Those interactions are difficult to negotiate because often they are accompanied by pride, disgust or distain. There may not be a whole lot one can personally do to address the divisiveness and contentiousness we are experiencing in our communities, but we can do “good”. We can “sow in peace!” We can acknowledge and respect and help and bless instead of curse. We can follow God’s wisdom: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)