The seasons have changed from summer to fall. Leaves are changing from green to red, orange, yellow, and brown. We stop wearing shorts and begin wearing sweaters. We begin thinking of Halloween and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Change. The Bible talks about change as well. In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As I reflect on the changing seasons, I think of my great-grandmother who saw tremendous change in her lifetime. My Great-grandma Burnett died at almost 100 years old when I was in eleventh grade. I was blessed to have known her. As she got older and started needing more assistance, my grandparents moved her house trailer into their back yard in Owosso. She would walk up to the house to eat meals and visit and watch TV before going back across the yard to her trailer for the night.
When I visited my grandparents, I would walk out to Great-grandma Burnett’s pink and white house trailer to visit her. I remember that her trailer had an old musty smell, and there was lots of old stuff all around. Her lamps were old. Her furniture was old. Her dishes were old. Sometimes when I was there, she would give me old 3-cent stamps that were in mint condition. She just saved them through the years in case she needed them. Sometimes she would give me what we called “bread-wrapper” rugs. She would braid the plastic bread wrappers into round or oval rugs. I would take them home to my mom, and she would put them down in our kitchen and entryways. My brother and I would try to figure out which bread wrapper brands were used to make the rugs.
I also remember that my Great grandma would eat every bit of food that was on her plate. She would take bread and wipe up every bit of juice that was there. If she didn’t have bread, she would take her finger and wipe up whatever crumb or bit of food was still on the plate. By the time she got done eating, the plate looked as if it had never been used. And if you were sitting next to my Great-grandma, and you still had food on your plate at the end of the meal, she would reach over and pick up the food left on your plate and eat it. Or she would take her finger and swipe up the left-over gravy or mashed potatoes.
I sometimes wondered why Great-grandma was like that. Why not buy new stuff? Why worry about scraps of food left on a plate? My grandmother explained to me that Great-grandma Burnett lived through the Great Depression that took place in the 1930s. Nobody had money. There was no work for people to do so they could earn money. Families struggled to keep a roof over their head, food in their stomach, and clothes on their back. My Great-grandmother went through all of that, and it changed her. She became more frugal. She didn’t waste anything. Nothing was taken for granted, because one didn’t know what would happen and what might be needed.
Hard times will change you, too. It’s up to you to make sure you learn the lessons from whatever season you’re in. It’s up to you to make sure this season’s hardships make you better, not bitter. What are you learning in the season you are in, whether it is one of plenty or one of shortages?
Maybe up until now you’ve taken God for granted and basically ignored him. Maybe you’ve taken your relationship with Jesus for granted, and you’ve not worked very hard to have a relationship of prayer and Bible reading with him. Maybe you’ve taken the church for granted, assuming that it will always be open for you to participate in as you please, and so you only participate when it is convenient, thinking you’ll always have more time to go. It will be a waste of this season if God isn’t somehow changing you. Get intentional about your walk with the Lord so that he can transform and renew your mind. Then you will know his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Changing for the better with you,