The Solstice was reached this past weekend, and in my world Summer officially began at about 3:48 a.m.
As many cheer the concept of longer and warmer days, I was amazed at how folks celebrated this event!
One neighbor had a Summer Party and many folks actually took time out of their busy Saturday to attend, parking all over the place and sitting around in outdoor pavilion tents…
Down the road a bit, one group even camped out Friday and Saturday night to celebrate.
Celebrate what? Something that happens year in and year out? Every 3 months a new season begins and we’ve been noting this for thousands of years. Why celebrate what happens all the time?
So, I asked myself, what officially marks the season?
In a simple world we would all understand that the earth is perpetually tilting on it’s axis and that tilt sways toward and away from the sun.
It’s almost like that spinning top we used to play with as a kid (I was never good at it…). You know, wind a string around the top and flip it out of your hand. With one end of the string looped over a finger, the power of the throw and the unwinding string forces the top to spin. If it lands just right on the metal point then it begins to whirl around until it runs out of spin.
This is much how the earth dances it’s annual routine around the sun. Gravity holds us in place, and something a long time ago started the spinning of the earth on its axis, and then the tilt began just like that top. Spinning around it’s axis to give us day and night, and then as it takes its annual trip around the sun, the tilt of the earth leans into the sun, and then away from the sun. When tilted to the sun then the northern hemisphere experiences what we call summer and the southern hemisphere experiences winter.
In fact, the north pole is in continual sun and the south pole is in continual dark. For several weeks!
Then it happens again. All year long our earth is in a constant change of tilt as we revolve around the sun. And the universe is in constant movement throughout space. (Read my blog ~click here~ a few weeks ago talking about our speeding universe.)
When in Alaska, and the further north you travel, you can see the sun up to 24 hours a day. In Anchorage, today, the sun rose at 4:22 a.m. and sets at 11:43 p.m. – that’s 19 hours and 21 minutes of daylight. Just a few miles south in Washington our sun rises an hour later (5:13) and sets at 9:10 pm. for about 16 hours of daylight.
As we march through summer we will see these total hours of daylight decrease. It will tilt slowly at first, then speed up, and slow down as it gets close to winter.
Between Summer and Winter Solstice, are our two other favorite seasons – Spring and Fall. As we gradually move between the solstice, we cross a line of demarcation that allows these two warming and cooling times to be enjoyed.
Now… The Earth tilts anywhere from about 22 to 24 degrees. There are some complex equations to predict the tilt, and for what I am thinking about today I will allow it to be immaterial the degree difference, or even why this occurs in the first place.
Think with me for a moment.
Solomon penned these beautiful words that we use often when thinking about seasons.
Ecc 3:1-8 KJV To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; (6) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; (7) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; (8) A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Many might use these words to justify why they are experiencing certain seasons in their life. Living, dying, planting, harvesting.
But as the seasons of Earth are prescribed and documented, and yes, even accurately predicted – I like to think of Solomon relating to life events that occur for everyone.
On the other hand, Moses is described as having chosen his seasonal life with the Chosen Ones rather than the sinful ones.
Seasons are not just periodic passages of time. Rather, I feel like there is a choice we make as to what seasons we choose in life. The Apostle Paul described it like this:
Gal 6:8-9 KJV For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
It’s almost as if we have a seasonal divergence that takes one down the path of corruption, or down the path of Spiritual Blessings. It is NOT like we have seasons in our life where we take a vacation from God!
Even the Psalmist gave a description of a life continually blessed in it’s choice of action.
Psa 127:1 KJV A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
You do not take a seasonal break from your walk with God! It’s not like you choose today to “be” Godly, and tomorrow you live like the devil! If your life is a temple of God (1 Cor 6:19-20), then you do not choose today to be on a seasonal break from a Holy God.
This concept of a seasonal tilt shows an average of a 23 degree tilt from Summer to Winter. Walking closer to stepping away from God into Spring or Fall is about 11.5 degrees. A lighter tilt. Every week represents about a .44 degree tilt, one way or the other (23/52=.44). Every day equals a .06 degree tilt (23/365=.06)
You may think a minor tilt is nothing to worry about. Oh. I wish I were a mathematician! Imagine a slight tilt on the steering wheel of a speeding car down a two lane road. Uncorrected tilt can end in calamity!
You may think it’s okay to tilt… Just do the math. One degree off course will get you lost! Or in the pathway of danger!
Final thought… Even Jesus says life is a strait and narrow pathway that leads to Life. Most are not successful, so why follow the crowd?
Mat 7:13-20 KJV Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.