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Seasons

“There’s that clatter again…” I thought.
This week, whilst in Apeldoorn, interviewing our missionaries we observed a few facts.
Here in the Netherlands, things had started to fall.
Firstly, temperatures started to fall, thankfully I’d brought my jacket.
Secondly, the nights started to draw in, the amount of daylight is decreasing.
Thirdly, as the wind blew, literally thousands of acorns were falling from the oak trees around the chapel and clattering against the roof.
I won’t forget the crunching noise of all those acorns underfoot as we walked back to the car.
Days that were long and sizzling have become short and chilly.
The season has changed.
Autumn has arrived.
In nature, seasons come and go, yet nothing remains the same for very long.
Just as in nature, we experience different seasons in our life.
‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.’ Ecclesiastes 1:2-3.
Truly, the seasons represent our time on earth.

𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐦𝐧 by Rainer Maria Rilke

The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
As if far gardens in the skies were dying;
They fall, and ever seem to be denying.
And in the night the earth, a heavy ball,
Into a starless solitude must fall.
We all are falling. My own hand no less
Than all things else; behold, it is in all.
Yet there is One who, utter gentleness,
Holds all this falling in His hands to bless.
Your current season of life may be difficult, but if you pause long enough, you may find it’s also a special one with unique blessings and challenges too.
Thomas S. Monson commented on making the most of each season in our lives to “provide time for family, time for work, time for study, time for service, time for recreation, time for self — but above all, time for Christ”
I’ve learned in life, that no matter how far we may fall, Jesus Christ will always lift you up again.
What are you learning in this season of your life?

Lessons that change us

𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐮𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐮𝐬 – Brad Wilcox
This is a cracking photo of two young missionaries, returning home exhausted, after another long hard day. This was outside our Stowe Road apartment in Shepherd’s Bush, London – in January 1984. I’d been out only a few weeks in the England London Mission.
I had the best trainer ever in Kelley Gray
Times never to be forgotten.
Those were the days!!
Every day those lessons in the mission field challenged me.
More significantly, they changed me.
Now, as Monic and I lead the Belgium Netherlands Mission, frequently I see great power and wisdom in the phrase “𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒖𝒔 𝒓𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒖𝒔.”
For all who have served or are currently serving, I am absolutely certain each of you will know exactly what I mean.
That said, these lessons don’t only take place in the mission field.
What lessons have challenged and changed you?