I love living in Buffalo, New York. It is one of the most beautiful and emotionally rewarding places a person could live. For someone reading this article that is not from the WNY area, this statement seems simply; unfathomable. The only time they see Buffalo, New York in the headlines, it is related to some catastrophic snowstorm, or most recently, a catastrophic football team, and a delinquent hockey team. However, those who know and call this place "home" realize that much of its appeal comes from four distinct seasons of weather.

In Buffalo, yes, our winters are chilling, but our "snow fed" vegetation in the spring is just incredible! There are very few mild summers nights in the region that do not have a festival, firework display, or food truck gathering of some sort to enjoy with a few thousand of your closest friends. And, the fall foliage, an explosion of color everywhere you look, mixed in with chili evenings around a campfire, or frosty Friday night football games… This is the place to be! 

Have I convinced you yet?

Embracing The Seasons
Here is the thing with seasons. We know that seasons change. We know that weather patterns, each and every year, are part of the rhythm of life; the ebb and flow, the give and take, the rising and falling. We can plan for the seasons. We can get used to the seasons. We can adapt to the seasons. However, we can't change the seasons.

Christian author Karl Vaters says this: "Because we can't stop seasons from happening, we have to stop kicking against them." Remembering and appreciating past seasons is nostalgic. Wanting to live in them is irrational. Not liking the cold of winter is normal. Denying it and dressing as though it's still summer is delusional and dangerous.

We can't control the seasons of life, but we can do something about the cycles.

Breaking The Cycles
Cycles are similar to seasons in that they also have a sense of change and rhythm to them. But that is where the similarities end. Cycles can be stopped, reset, or reversed. A new perspective, a new motivation, or a new situational reality can break the bond of old cyclical behavior(s), and can do so rather quickly. Every time we get a new job, move to a new town, bring home a new addition to the family, or establish a new behavior pattern there is a break in the cycle. This is a new opportunity to for growth.

A time for every season...
In our lives we have seasons of loss, birth and death, planting and harvest. This will always be a part of our human interactions while we reside in this temporal world. In our lives we also experience cycles of behaviors, habits, and communication patterns that might put us in a bad place... How often is it of our own making? We need to be able to decipher the difference between the two.

Perhaps you are experiencing something that feels like a cold wintry season, where life can be difficult and sunshine can be hard to come by? I know the feeling. Can I encourage you (us) today?

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Don't Give Up!
Pastor Milo