There are the howling nights that don’t end, which follow the harrowing days that pierce us right through, knocking us down and punching us out. And there are the Prozac weeks that stretch out like cats, numb with nothingness. Bland, flat, here, there, either, neither. And there is the bright shiny of moment hope, dazzling and blinding and not quite believable, but there it is, the long lost bastard, finally home.
And there is the velvety rock concert of abundance, full and rich and throbbing and right here, right now, laughter and champagne and celebration.
Which season are you in, my friend?
Can you stay there, no matter what it is? Can you stay with the howling night? Can you make friends with with the Prozac weeks? How about the bright shiny moment of hope? Can you believe it’s true and let yourself fall all the way in, without doubting it?
And oh, the rock concert, that is perhaps the hardest. Can you laugh and celebrate and drink that fullness all the way down to the dregs? It’s a rare soul that really knows how to party when it’s party time.
One of the tricks to living out any beginning is following it all the way through to where it goes, because it can’t stay at the hot wet kiss of the first moment forever. There’s longing and hoping, there’s waiting and losing and finding. There’s hope and abundance and anxiety and those lusty promises that burn out long before… well, long before.
Here’s what I wrote about seasons in this crazy book, Beginnings.
On Day One, God brings light into the darkness, rescuing us, bringing us home.
On day Two, we are expanded so that we can hold the life that God is embedding within us so that one day our presence may be a gift to others. We learn to let go and to receive, so we can carry the life of God within us to term.
On day Three, what has been embedded in us by God finally sprouts forth and grows, carrying within it seeds for future life. We explode with life and we create the future, simply by being who we are and bringing forth what is within us.
On Day Four, the sun, moon, and stars are created, dazzling and blinding us with their beauty and expansiveness.
I just returned from a five-day sailing trip to the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, where we navigated the winds by day and sat under the stars by night. The skies over those waters became a playground, the stars dancing and wheeling, showing off. In the morning we woke early, our faces burned and our backs sore, to watch the sun rise up over the water. One morning, the colors of the clouds changed from purple to red to deep golden before the bright globe pushed its way through them on its way toward the top of the world.
The sun, moon, and stars hang in the sky, our most visible ancestors, reminding us that life is bigger and we are smaller.
Like us, they are not stationary. They move across the sky, inviting us into another dimension to which all beginnings must eventually submit.
Day Four invites us to recognize and respond to all the seasons of life. Though we want endless spring and summer, fall and winter eventually come—sometimes far too soon. Day four invites us to embrace each season as they come, without wishing them away or trying to hold them too long.
I wrote this chapter because I’ve experienced the harrowing and the harrowing, the hoping and the waiting and the abundance, and we don’t know how to do any of those seasons well, but we need to learn. We are in the dark season of Advent right now, and things feel fragile to me. College presidents want students to be armed and dangerous, Paris is on fire, Syrian refugees, bloody knuckled from knocking down doors and being turned out for the night. And still a little light flickers, a little light flickers…
Don’t wait too long this year, Little Light, born so bright. We’re all leaning in extra close this year.
Hope on, faint hearts, the stars were hung in the sky, and they’re still wheeling and dancing their way toward a new season. Hope on, faint hearts.
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Next Tuesday, we’ll look at what Day Five brings. On Day Five, we learn to face our monsters.
A big congratulations to Janet Dietz who won last week’s copy of Beginnings.
I want to give away one copy of Beginnings per week between now and release. I will sign it and mail it, totally free. All you have to do is email me, or send me a picture, of WHY you need a copy of Beginnings NOW. It could be hilarious, poignant, deep, shallow, whatever. It just has to be to me by Monday, December 14th. Email me at Steve (at) stevewiens.com or post it on Facebook (sjwiens), Twitter (@stevewiens), or Instagram (@stevewiens), tagging me so that I can see it, and using the hashtag #BeginningsBook. I will pick one winner per week, based on my own completely random judgment of which one is best. Ready, go!
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If you’d like to read the first two chapters of my new book, Beginnings, please click here. I’d love to hear what you think!
If you’d like to pre-order Beginnings (releasing on January 1st), click here.