Shifting seasons of life

A story is told of a Zulu man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a journey, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest son in the autumn.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had observed.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted.

The second son said, “no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.”

The third son disputed. He said it was laden with blossoms that had a sweet scent and looked remarkably wonderful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfilment. The man then explained to his sons that they were all right because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree or a person, by only one season and that the nature of who they are and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end when all the seasons add up.

When we give up when it is winter, we will miss the promise of our spring, the beauty of our summer, the fulfilment of our autumn. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Don’t judge life by one trying season. Endure through the tough and rough patches and better times are sure to come someday.

It is cheap to give up. It cost less to throw in the towel. It is easy to stop trying. It is comforting and cosy. But the long-term ramifications can rampage your destiny into a ramshackle.

When was the last time you throw yourself at something head over heels?

‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

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