“This message came to me concerning Edom: Someone keeps calling to me, ‘Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?’ The watchman replies, ‘Morning is coming, but night will soon return. If you wish to ask again; then, come back and ask’.” – Isaiah 21:11-12
Life is a continuum, so they say. Seasons come and go. On a broader perspective, there are basically three seasons of our lives as human beings. I have been pondering for a while now and as I approach the mid-twenties, I spare more thoughts for some of the cogent questions of life. I intend to share my findings and my concerns with you, hoping that I may learn from you and you from me. Here is the first installment from those musings.
Morning is a metaphor for many things – new beginnings, fresh ideas, and more. If we take a hypothetic 75 years as the expected life span of a man, we can as well break those years into three equal parts, twenty five years each. A man is born (into a family) and learns the ways of life. The crying baby soon learns to walk, talk, locate the potty when pressed, and properly engage with adults and other kids alike. During the teenage years, the society expects a lot more from the boy than the baby, and rightly so. His senses have been further developed, and he has abundant time and energy to experiment, but generally not much money to do that. Someone, often his parents, foots his bills. At about noon, in the life of a man, he is expected to have learnt a specialized skill and becomes suitably positioned to contribute to the economy of the society.
Afternoon signifies the middle years, often characterized by a state of flux. If a man comes into the afternoon without adequate preparation – psychological, financial, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual – the pressure becomes more difficult to bear. He is expected to earn enough living to cater for his own family (even if he chooses not to marry) and also begin to contribute to society in greater measure. The ‘me’ years slip into the ‘we’ years and he is easily agitated when his expectations for each milestone do not come through, or are delayed. In the afternoon of his life, man has a lot of money and energy, but time becomes increasingly scarce for him to fully enjoy all that life has bestowed on him. Thus, a man ought to enter this season fully prepared, learn the (bitter) lessons in time, rise when he falls, and take heed to enjoy the gifts of life lest the sun sets on him, suddenly.
Night is that time when no man can work again. It is that season when, after man has laboured hard in this life, and his offspring have been properly trained and equipped for their own afternoon time, he settles down to enjoy the benefits of labour. Do you realise the awkwardness of the sight of a septuagenarian carrying blocks of cement at a building site? Who would wish their dad to be in such a position? The sleep of a man who has worked hard all day ought to be sweet. Man, in his old age, has the abundant money and time, but he lacks the energy to enjoy these resources like a young man would. What do you think about these three seasons of life? Which season are you currently in and how has life treated you thus far (or the other way round)? What are your silent dreams and those concerns and prayers that keep your eyes open at night? I am persuaded that we ought to always seek our Creator for direction even as we dash out every morning to earn a living; lest, we continue to run ‘hundred miles per hour in the wrong direction!’