Enduring and Persevering Through the Seasons of Your Life

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to breakdown, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

maxresdefault (1)Many in society today would have you and I insanely believe or live as if several of the seasons mentioned above should not or could not possibly exist. However, we do not change seasons, we endure and persevere through them. We learn to cope with them and comfort each other during the rough ones. We learn to respond and adjust to each one of them. Our efforts to eliminate any one or a number of these seasons reminds me of a C.S. Lewis quote: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

For me, the most important part of this passage is the introductory phrase: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Literally, we went from a microwave society where we demand to know, have, and use everything within moments of wanting whatever it is to convincing ourselves that by pitching a fit we can eliminate entire seasons and avoid matters that don’t fit our immediate wants or current narrative. We have become the spoiled brat on the floor in the middle of Wal-Mart pitching a fit and for some reason society is giving us all what we want in an effort to shut us up.

Lest you think I am pointing fingers, I know all too well this mentality and represented it with the best of them as a child. I tried similar tactics with my mother and thankfully she was wiser than her 8 year old’s antics. I distinctly remember being in Taco Bell at age 8 with my mother, waiting in line to order. The line was long, I was hungry and did not want to wait. So I started pitching a fit. I screamed, I stomped, I swung at my mom and called her names because the people in front of us were slow and I wanted food. Back in the late 1970s, people did not care what you did to or with your kid and many of us were resolved to be “latch key” kids. Right there in front of God and everyone, my mom grabbed my arm and squeezed it so tightly my hand started hurting. Then I made one of the worst decisions an 8 year old could make. I yelled at the top of my lungs, “YOU’RE BREAKING MY ARM!” Very intently and with five more people behind us in line, my mom broke the line dragging me to the bathroom and saying just as loudly, “YOU WANT A BROKEN ARM, I WILL GIVE YOU A BROKEN ARM!” Into the ladies bathroom we went and I received one of the most enlightening spankings of my young life. Once she finished and we ordered, I could barely sit down in the chair to eat my food. However, I learned a very important lesson that day. Never call out my mom and wait quietly because the alternative is much worse.

hangingI could no more change the circumstances of waiting for food than my mom could sit there and let me pitch a fit. Likewise, society will once again find out that just because you demand an App for every convenience and comfort, you can no more change a season of time than you can avoid reality. What is even scarier is reality is not the only reality. There is also a spiritual reality.

I shared a verse with five new parents recently. All of them had children around the age of 3-9 months old. I told them, when I perform a baby dedication, I quote the words spoken about Jesus when he was a child found in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with man.” Somehow we have missed the lesson that life has two tracks: 1. Spiritual Growth and Development (God Track), and 2. Physical Growth and Development (Man Track). In today’s society, we are only focused on #2 (pun intended). Only an ignorant and misguided society is convinced it can build a dual track railroad by building or growing the Man Track (2). We must build/grow both sides simultaneously as indicated in Luke 2:52.

kneelingYou may find yourself saying at this point, “Well that is just great Chaplain, you have shown us the problem and offered a solution but how do we get there from here?” Good question! History demonstrates that if we continue to build or grow just the one side, then we will succumb to Martial Law within our borders, Foreign takeover, or be destroyed before we can get things right. It may be that this one takes prayer, fasting, humility, discipline, faith gatherings and the breaking of bread together, coping skills, repentance, forgiveness, actually reading the Bible and applying it to our lives, healthy mentorship, accountability, safe relationships, demonstrating God’s definition of love and living like Jesus intended for us to as Christians.

INSANITY! What was I thinking, that will never happen. I guess it is time to prepare for the end of society as we know it, at least for a season.

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.