The earth rotates about its north-south axis, and it tilts on that axis 23.5˚ from the vertical. The tilt is what gives us seasons. It has been with us since after the flood. Genesis 8: 22: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease."
The harvest is a season of plenty. The crop is stored, and the house has provisions. Then comes the winter.
In the winter, nature sleeps, and gathers energy for what will be required of her in spring, summer, and fall.
Life has its seasons, also. I'm aware of the emphasis in our culture upon youth, and the attempt to deny aging. But we are all a part of nature, and cannot exempt ourselves from it. Probably a large failure in Christian education is the failure to teach about the seasons of life, and how without fail, (assuming God gives us the grace to live,) the winter always comes.
The coming of winter teaches good stewardship. There are seasons of plenty, but none of the seasons will last forever. Nothing is forever, and times change.
The coming of winter teaches us to be good stewards of possessions, and a very important commodity in all our lives: time.
Winter – a time to enjoy the fruits of the summer's labor – a time of rest – a time of reflection – a time to create, and do things that have been put in the "someday" file. It's a time to enjoy.
Listen to the teaching of nature.
With wisdom God created the earth (Proverbs, chapter 8). With wisdom he created the heavens. If he created them in wisdom, I think we may know he filled them with his wisdom; his wisdom fills even the smallest of creatures.
Not only is wisdom in creation; wisdom cries aloud. You can hear her if you will listen. If you would be wise, then listen to creation.
The coming of winter teaches the value of savings. Not savings for savings sake but savings for lean times, savings for those times when you cannot or do not wish to "produce" as the world defines "producing". Savings for the winter of life. Savings for the enjoyment of life without the regularity of a paycheck.
Winter reminds us of the value of time. Each of us only has a finite amount of time and winter teaches us to use it wisely.
The ant needs no theology, no observation of the heavens. I don't know what the ant "knows" as we define knowing, probably very little, but she knows the time of plenty will not last forever, and she makes good use of her time.
The winter is coming. Like the ant, we should use our time wisely before it arrives.
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