November 21, 2017

Pastoral Nuggets: Living Life Out of Season

Brother-Aaron-236x300Whether it be hunting or fishing, sportsmen (or women) realize that the hunting or fishing seasons assigned to their particular passion is there for a reason.

The season allows the animals and the fish to repopulate and keeps the herds or particular species of fish well regulated.

And as long as everybody respects and abides by these assigned seasons, everything operates within its designed ebb and flow and all is well.

However, when people decide that the season doesn’t apply to them and that they will hunt and fish when they want, the order of things gets thrown out of balance and there is great harm to all involved.

Life has seasons. And as long as we operate within those seasons, all is well.  However, when we attempt to live our lives “out of season,” we cause great harm for all involved.

Believe it or not, the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son is simply a story about a man who chose to live his life out of season. Think about it. The younger son demanded of his father the portion of goods that belonged to him. This alone tells us that he knew he was already in his father’s will.

He knew he was going to get half of whatever his father left when he died. The problem is that he didn’t want to wait on his dad to die before receiving his inheritance. He didn’t want to wait for the correct season.

Therefore, he chose to live his life out of season. And look at the chaos that was caused when one man chose to live his life out of season.

We tend to think that our life choices and our sins are nobody else’s business and that they won’t affect anybody else. That’s wrong. No man is an island unto himself. We are all intertwined and interconnected.  And when we choose to live our lives out of season, sadly, it affects many more people that just us. We hurt others.

The actions of the Prodigal Son hurt his father, his brother, his friends, others, and even the fatted calf! Oh, and it also hurt him. We cannot live our lives out of season without suffering the consequences.

Seasons, just like rules and boundaries, are there for our protection. I believe that many people are living defeated lives today because they have chosen to live their lives out of season.

When we choose to live our lives out of season, we put others under our burden. Just as the Prodigal Son put his father, brother, and friends under his burden, so do we today.

When we live out of season we put our parents, our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, and our friends under our burden. It is always the innocent who are hurt the most because of our actions.

When we choose to live our lives out of season, it means that we need better relational skills. We have a problem following the rules. Furthermore, we believe the rules apply to everybody else, but certainly not us. When the Prodigal Son made things right, it meant he had to address the relational problems with his father and brother.

In fact, the only good relational skills the Prodigal Son had – was with the pigs!  But when we come out of the pigpens of life – we have to leave the pigs there. We cannot take them with us!

There came a time when the Prodigal Son became tired of living his life out of season. The Bible says, “He came to himself…” He did a proper assessment of his condition. He remembered who he was.  He devised a plan to change his situation. He implemented the plan. And he was blessed beyond his wildest expectations by his father. Why? Because he got his life back in season.

I wonder how many reading this column today are living a life out of season. If you are, then I encourage you to remember that the seasons, just like rules and boundaries, are there for your protection.

And while you cannot unwrite the script of your life that has already transpired – you can change the script for the portion that lies ahead.

My encouragement to you today is to do as the Prodigal.  Get up out of your circumstances, go home to the Father, and get your life back in season!

 

Brother Aaron

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