For some, the seasons are a source of variety—seedtime, growth, harvest, and renewal. For others, in various ways, seasons of the year tend to limit joy, health, and life. Perhaps winter seems too long, and you wish for the joyous warmth and renewal of spring. Or maybe you hear the news that the flu season is coming to affect your health. Or the accumulation of seasons may suggest a diminishing of your life.
Opening thought to a new view of God’s seasons, however, frees us from feeling bound and limited by nature’s seasons and opens our experience to infinite possibilities in our expression of life. It lifts off the confines of time and reveals harmonious being as ours here and now.
Genesis speaks of the seasons: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (1:14). One sense of the word season in the original Hebrew means “an assembly convened for a definite purpose” (Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Lexicon). The seasons of God’s creating signal the gathering of ideas that fulfill the divine purpose.
Mary Baker Eddy speaks of God’s seasons this way: “The periods of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s creation, in which beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness—yea, the divine nature—appear in man and the universe never to disappear” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 509). Notice the four words beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness. Might they correspond to a divinely inspired view of the four seasons?
For instance, one could think of beauty as the quality of Love that forever “springs” forth, showing the continuous freshness, newness, and radiance of being. Sublimity is forever growing in the “summer” of the sunshine of Truth, exemplifying the continuous elevation and grandeur of God’s infinite ideas. Purity is forever signaling the “autumn” harvest, separating the chaff from the wheat of Truth, in which only the purity of Soul is gathered. Holiness is that quality of “winter” peace, quietude, and poise, rejoicing in Love’s completeness.
Seasons, then, could be thought of as not framed by time or mortal thought, but by the eternity of Mind. They are expressive of the gathering and appearing of the divine nature of spiritually ascending thought, or the unified nature of beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness.
How can this understanding be practical in our experience? In Mind’s seasons, there is no room for the cold or allergy season. It is not matter that produces a cold or an allergic reaction, but rather it is human belief outlined on the physical body. If one fears the seasons, he is liable to suffer the consequences. Cold temperatures and pollen have to borrow apparent power from mortal thought. If we don’t lend them power, they have none. Separating the wheat from the tares, the true from the false, we are allergy- and cold-free in the pure “autumn” season of Mind’s creating.
In God’s season, there is no hectic time, no stressful or pressured time. These disappear in the presence of spiritual understanding, and we find only the holiness and orderly peace of the “winter” of Mind’s season, weaving all together in harmony, order, fluidity, and coordination. Every action of the days and seasons of Mind is thoughtful, flowing with the ease and harmony of “Soul-filled years” (Science and Health, p. 599).
Jesus practiced from the standpoint that the harvest season of healing is now.
There is only renewal of strength and grace in the “spring” of Mind’s creating, forever refreshing, energizing, and unfolding new views of creation. We are always at the point of newness. Our expression of God is just appearing in different ways. There is no redundancy, no repetition, just newness—something never before seen. We read in Science and Health, “Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source” (p. 507).
The seasons of Mind never diminish man and creation. There is no force that ages or tears down through an accumulation of seasons; rather, the “summer” of God elevates and unfolds the continuing infinity and majesty of creation. Mind’s seasons reveal creation as one eternal round of completeness and wholeness.
Understanding the seasons of Mind is also useful in our healing practice, for we see that time is not a factor in the healing work. Jesus practiced from the standpoint that the harvest season of healing is now. He said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). Mrs. Eddy once read this verse to her staff and remarked: “If you have a case that seems protracted, lift up your eyes and realize the eternal presence of peace and harmony. Know the harvest time of health and life is even now with you” (Irving C. Tomlinson, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 87).
In Science and Health, in the Glossary, time is described in the definition of year as “a mortal thought” (p. 598). So we don’t need more time, more mortal thought, in order to be healed. If we say, “This problem has gone on for a long time,” we can see that the only place it’s been going on is in mortal thought. Since divine Mind is All, problems really have no record to be replayed again and again. All that has ever been going on is “beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness—yea, the divine nature” appearing in man.
Understanding the seasons of divine Mind, we see that the chronic case is not difficult to cure. Healing can come as quickly as a change of thought. Consider the man at the pool of Bethesda, who had not been able to walk for 38 years (see John 5:1–9). The Bible tells us that an angel came down to the pool at a “certain season” and troubled the water, and whoever was the first in the water after that happened was healed. When Jesus asked the man, “Wilt thou be made whole?” the man explained that he had no one to bring him to the water before someone else stepped in first. So he believed that he needed a certain season and that he was dependent on others before his healing could take place.
We might ask ourselves if we also put up “seasonal” roadblocks to healing. Mrs. Eddy writes that what makes sickness difficult to heal is “… believing that the body can be sick independently of mortal mind and that the divine Mind has no jurisdiction over the body” (Science and Health, p. 218). If we think that a sick or painful body is different from mortal thought, we cannot heal the body. We can heal only as we see that the disease or discord is a belief, which we can destroy by realizing the truth. Mrs. Eddy confirms: “Sickness, sin, and death must at length quail before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged” (Science and Health, pp. 384–385).
Did the man at the pool of Bethesda perceive the connection of thought and body? Jesus certainly showed the man that connection when he asked, “Will you be made whole?” He was asking him to stop waiting for a certain season, and to accept his wholeness now. The man indicated this change in his thought by obeying Jesus’ command, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” (John 5:8). And he walked free!
It is interesting that the word rise in the original Greek means “to waken, to rouse” (Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Lexicon). Thus, the Christ cuts through the limited belief in time and seasons, and rouses man to be the immediate and faithful witness of Truth—to be strong, upright, and perfect. This healing of the man at the pool illustrates that healing is always “in season.”
Are we wearing out years, seasons of servitude, to a false belief (see Science and Health, p. 226)? We no longer need to sabotage our own healing by waiting for a certain season. How glorious to lift up our eyes and rejoice that now, we are the sons and daughters of God! Now, the seasons of Mind are revealing our beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness, our divine nature! Now, we are healthy and complete!
Janet Clements is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher in Chicago, Illinois.