“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”Ecclesiastes 3:1
A season for every activity
The season was “summall,” that time when summer’s blossoms were gone and autumn’s were yet to come. We’d returned from a long vacation, and even though we’d soaked the plants before we left, they didn’t survive. The combination of Georgia’s hot October temperatures and the end of the growing season did them in.
My husband discarded the impatiens from the clay pots on the porch and began preparations for the pansies that would take residence next. I grabbed the broom and walked onto the porch to sweep up the dirt scattered about the old “patina-ed” pots he loves, and I saw it. A volunteer, orphaned impatien. Science might have said the timing was wrong and the setting certainly less than ideal, but it didn’t listen. It did its job and bloomed away.
Timing is everything.
How many times have we heard that phrase tossed about, often in reference to a commercial campaign? Millions of dollars are spent by corporations and advertising companies to determine the perfect time to introduce a newly developed product to the market. Thousands of man-hours are invested in polling people to ensure the product is relevant, attractive, and appropriately priced.
And yet, if the season is wrong, all that time and money are wasted, hopes and dreams are dashed, and the plans are canned. Maybe they’re postponed. Maybe they’re discarded. But certainly, those who invested a portion of their lives into the venture never believed failure would be the outcome.
God’s word tells us not that timing is everything, but that everything has a time. The fuchsia flower had no idea its growing season was supposed to be over. It only knew what its job was, and against all odds, in a crack between the bricks and the concrete, it put down roots and bloomed. Summall was its time, its season.
We, as Christian writers, are called not simply to put words on paper, but to minister to the hearts of our readers through our writing. It’s not always easy, and sometimes the outcomes are difficult to measure. But our calling has eternal value, and we must be faithful to it.
In one season of discouragement, a friend emailed me a quotation from Harriet Beecher Stowe. I printed it and thumbtacked it to my office bulletin board. In dry seasons, when nothing was blooming around me, the words strengthened my heart.
The little impatien fulfilled its purpose and bloomed, whether the timing seemed perfect or not. When its season came, it was ready. As writers, our job is to study and learn our craft. To be obedient to our calling. To be ready. So that when our season comes, we, too, can bloom.
The time came for us to plant the pansies. We took care to leave the little impatien undisturbed, happily growing next to the winter flowers. So it could fulfill its season … its purpose … as a reminder of trusting God’s perfect seasons and timing in our lives.
Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe. Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction. Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. She’s a Frappuccino and soccer aficionado.