Here in Georgia we have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. Spring is great unless it comes early and leaves quickly, then we have three seasons: summer, fall, winter. Summer is tolerable here, unlike New Orleans and Houston where the devil makes his seasonal residence with oppressive heat and humidity being constant and unpleasant companions. Fall is always super. Winter is OK if you take extra vitamin D to stave off the morose feelings for those long stretches of cold, rainy days with no sunshine.
In the south there’s really just two seasons: SEC football season and not SEC football season. The sun shines brightly during the season; not at all out of the season.
But, seems language has been hacked and hijacked once again for our fair English, liberated tongue.
“Season” has been a trendy term used by tik-tockers, hard rocker church folks, intellectual wannabes with fake doctorates, and other hangers on who want to be cool.
Thus, nobody ever gets fired from a job anymore, they enter into a “season of transition.”
There’s no church that is declining, just entering into a time of discernment and a season of readjustment to current realities.
Even growing churches join the season movement, they are engaged in a season of great blessing and growth, not understanding that by definition, season is temporary, transitional, and never permanent.,
And over here we have the squalid scenes of church clergy criminals -thieves, abusers, racketeers – who get caught but earnestly declare that they are taking needed time off for a season of reflection, reevaluation, and recalibration. May they see their reflection clearly in the bars of a jail cell, for a season if not longer.
A pastor who is a serial killer will say he had a “season of poor conduct.”
A clergy child sex abuser can be restored in short order with the proper “season of discovery and personal growth.”
We know all too well that prominent clerics can gather about them a fawning coterie of sycophants to form an accountability and restoration group. Count on that self-appointed outfit to have all manner of seasons: seasons of repentance, reflection, personal growth, transition, all of which seem to be extremely short seasons.
I though I might get an, ahem!, season of clarity on all this by a conversation with my friend Pastor Bubba from Podunk Crossroads Baptist Church in south Georgia. He’s not the senior pastor of anything, just the pastor.
“Hey, Bubba! Are you having seasons of reflections, revelations, and recalibrations down there in Podunk?”
“Well, no, my dear northeast Georgia brother.”
“We don’t have no funky seasons down here. We just slog on for Jesus whatever the weather, whatever the difficulty, whatever the cost. If it makes you feel better, I am planning on a season of transition about one millisecond after I die. It’s gonna be sweet.”
“Haw, haw, haw!”
“Other than that, the only seasons apart from the usual weather and farming seasons down here are BBQ seasons. I’ve got this really neat dry rub seasoning I use on wild hogs. It’s quite spicy and hot. You’d like it.”
“Yeah, Bubba, send me some.”
“Well, I’m a little low right now. Had to rub some on a former colleague who had a season of marital infidelity, dude was messing around with a lady in his church. My wild hog dry rub seemed to work lots better than any restoration group. This slimy dude is out of the ministry for quite a spell, hopefully permanently. He’s having a season, no doubt about that. Nobody in Duluth or Nashville ever asked me for advice, but I think the things that work in Podunk would work in those places as well.
“But you guys have a nice Christmas season up there! Eat some fruitcake for me.”