The weather of late, here in South-West Montana has reminded us all of the nearness of our Fall, or Autumn season, and the relative shortness of our Summer season. Although the weather is still pretty warm, even blistering hot during the day, the nights are showing how close we are to Fall by their comfortable chilliness!
The title above could evoke many different images, as well as many memories! There are memories of falls that have come and gone; both the seasons & our own failures. We look back on days gone by with both fondness & regret, regret for the times when we know, with all our worldly wisdom, that we should have run the other way, for the times we should have said no, yet at the same time, fondness for those very seasons & reasons! It is too common for us to look back in time, and remember with regret the Falls of Life, because it is only through the Falls, that we come to our Season of Rest ( Winter ), our Season of Renewal ( Spring ), & our Season of Recreation ( Summer )!
Many Christians recall with regret ( some rehearse it ) the Fall, or failure of our 'first parents', Adam & Eve! You may hear anything from, 'if I had been there, I would never have eaten' to 'there, but for the Grace of God, go I'. We may or may not have acted differently when faced with that temptation, but it is certain that Jesus would never have come if they hadn't! It is also doubtless that we would not be where we need to be if we had not 'fallen' when & where we did!
'How can he say that with any certainty?', you might be thinking! Well, there are two certainties in Life, that God is, and that somewhere along the line, somebody, somehow, is going to have to 'pay the piper'. Our 'piper' was paid a long time ago, and now we take comfort in the fact that 'all things work together for good to those who love God'. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and so whether you believe that or not, even whether you are a Christian or not, our Heavenly Father uses everything & everyone for His own Purpose & Plan!
Take for instance, the latest Fall of Man from his exalted position: there has been a veritable blizzard of activity across the World Wide Web of late concerning the apparently evident suicide of Robin Williams. One may wonder at God's Purpose in all this, while others have taken a slightly different tact, and used this opportunity to lay bare before the world the gross selfishness of this sort of action, while at the same time recognizing that depression is a very real fact of life, whether it is merely chemical imbalance or a deeper emotional & spiritual problem.
Did his depression so overwhelm his mental state that he could see no other way out? Did he choose, in his selfishness, to commit one last act to make the world take notice that he, Robin Williams, was someone to consider? Was his decision to take his own life his last act of defiance against a Creator that he had to know was there, yet spurned? We'll never know! For all intents and purposes; does it really matter, in the grand scheme of things? Well, one thing is for damn sure, this lamentable occurrence has spurned much debate & some much needed activity in the area of depression, its causes & cures!
When men fall to that point, as Robin Williams found out, there is no turning back! Once the knot is tied and the chair kicked out from under us; without Divine Intervention, there's not much we can do but flail hopelessly & uselessly against the inevitable; the final curtain has fallen, and there's nothing any human effort can do to restore that life!
Life, however, must go on, and with God as our Strength & Righteousness, the Seasons of Regret, Rest, Renewal & Recreation will continue! Depression is a fact of life; we all, even the best of us, have our ( secret ) moments of despair, where we think that 'I just can't take it anymore' ( if you have not experienced this, you might be floundering in that famous River over in Egypt )! 'Life', as one songstress put it, 'has a funny way of helping you out'; 'isn't it ironic?', or so it seems!
While we move through these seasons, theses times of despair & peace, hardship & joy, we are made to realize that it's all good; no matter the torturous route that we take, no matter the speed-bumps & pot-holes that we encounter on our Journey: One thing is Certain, we have a Heavenly Father who sees us through every season, and gives us Strength for the Journey!
Robin Williams was not the first to succumb to the Season of Regret, and he won't be the last, but with God as our Reliable Strength, we will always move past every season, Resting, Renewing & Recreating in Him!
May we ever rely upon that Strengh, take comfort in our Rest & Recreate Anew in our Living & Loving!
In His Grace, Charles Haddon Shank