The Desert is a Teacher

I believe it was King Solomon that said, “To everything there is a season. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted “But what did he mean? What I think he meant was we would do well to stop: look, feel, taste, touch, and smell life’s seasons. Solomon wants us to admit; seasons in life exist and to accept them as designed by God. Yes, even those self-perceived unproductive seasons in the desert.
As a young man, I grew up in the Midwest where recognizing seasons seemed to be easy. In spring, I searched the forest floor for fresh mushrooms. In summer, I watch as the fawn’s spots quickly fade. In fall, I hear the rustling of vibrant colored leaves as they dangle from their majestic hosts. In the winter I tasted the purest snowflake and touched the cruelty of death. In contrast, I now live in the desert; funny thing about the desert, its subtlety tends to shroud obvious seasonal distinction. During the first years of desert life the only seasonal changes I noticed were temperature changes. Hindsight says, “I’ve may have missed a lot during these years.” But, do I have to focus on what I’ve missed? I think not. My youthful Midwestern years may have conditioned me to recognize obvious seasonal changes; however, my middle aged desert years have given me the patience to recognize subtle seasons of life. My desert years have taught me to slow life, and engage my God given senses. When I intentionally do this, I discover amazing seasonal events in the desert, such as: The smell of Mesquite Blossoms in spring, tasting a sulfur laden rain drop, the sound of gushing water as it pounds its way through a Wadi in late summer, the touch of a cool breeze as the wind shifts from South to North in Fall, or watching swallows nest under the canal bridge in Winter. The desert is as much a kin to life as any other clime or place. These days I find, like the children of Exodus, I’ve learned more about the sum of life while in the desert than I have in any other climate of life.


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