“… Our souls, our hearts have seasons too. A soul in youth can turn grim and artistic, or a heart in dottage can grow breezy and fragrant. The seasons of the heart are no respecters of age, and seldom of person. I’ve met children bleak and dour, octogenarians playful and whimsical, middle-aged women enthused about everything, fifty-year-old men bitter about everything. Sometimes this is just the way it is, with no rhyme or reason, nothing to predict or prevent or produce one season or another.“
Spoiler alert! Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season Of Your Soul is a thought provoking book that requires you to actually think if you want to get the most from it, that is Being With Jesus Every Season Of Your Soul. Mark Buchanan has a way with words that draws you in and wanting much more, they have the power to provide you hope when seemingly no hope can be found, encouragement when you need to be encouraged, and inspiration when you need to be inspired to get out of your lonely chair sitting there moping that no one can help you, and he does this of his wisdom found in the God-head. Although his writing is beautifully compelling, he challenges the reader to think differently upon God’s Word, yet he never goes outside the intended meaning. As you saw in the first quote of the Introduction, the author is clearly effectively explaining that our hearts, our souls, have seasons too. However, unlike seasons of the year, you can be stuck in a particularly bad or good one, the worst ever or the best ever season of your life for periods of actual time. That is just the way it is. Coming from my own personal background (Running With Christ) this book right here validated all that I was going through, from the time I first accepted Christ. Here are some more sage words from Mark Buchanan:
“… We ignore this to our peril.
I discovered these seasons of the heart late, close to fifty, when I found myself in winter. A friend and a colleague, whose presence I depended on more than I knew until it was gone, got sick, and then very sick, and then died. Her name was Carol, and just writing her name opens a door that a cold wind slips through. She was blond, and big, and funny, and could pray heaven close. She forgot details and muddled dates, but remembered people, the most quirky and intimate things about them, and she could see deep into them in the way prophets and sages and sometimes grandmothers can.
She had a tumor in her skull, a thing that showed up first as a chronic headache. A mass as big as a hardball, nestled just above and right behind her right ear, twined into her brain. Doctors plucked it out, but it grew again, and spread. They went in again, but its roots ran thick and tangled, and all they could do is pare back its wildness a little. We prayed, desperate, confident, declarative, beseeching. We were as gallant as knights, then frightened as children. We rode the news, up, down, sideways. We grew, I suppose, but often we diminished, too.
She died. I held myself together, and a few others besides. Carol was not just a friend: she was my co-pastor, and so our whole church was in crisis. I led well, I think, during her dying and her death. I was brave. I spoke words of comfort and hope, publicly and privately. At her funeral I preached a message to stir and bolster faith.
And then I woke one morning barren of fruit, bereft of joy, short of daylight. I could not shake it off. I could not make a thing grow. I saw a counselor. I had people pray for me. I read books. I begged God. I faked it.
Nothing ended it.
And then God gave me insight: this was winter. It would end, in time, but not by my own doing. My responsibility was simply to know the season, and match my actions and inactions to it. It was to learn the slow hard discipline of waiting. It was my season to believe in spite of – to believe in the absence of evidence or emotion, when there was nothing to bud, no color, no light, no birdsong, to validate belief. It was my time to walk through without sight.”
Darren L. Beattie, The Soul Blogger