Spring started this past Tuesday and the local schools are on spring break this week. There are certain things that happen each spring; some of them due to man's timing, like spring break, and some, like the spring equinox, because God set the schedule (Genesis 1:14-19). Sometimes God allows us to set the schedule and sometimes he doesn't and when we try to override his timing, things don't work out.
In trying deliver Israel from Egyptian oppression, Moses ran ahead of God's plan and was set back 40 years (Acts 7:23-34). The Israelites, on the other hand, wouldn't act when God said to and caused a delay of 40 years before reaching the Promised Land. Then they made matters worse by deciding to spring into action on God's original plan after he said it was too late (Numbers chapters 13 and 14).
Things also occasionally don't work out when people don't follow their own plans or traditions. For example, in Old Testament times, it was the practice for kings to go to war in springtime (1 Chronicles 20:1-3). But, Israel's King David broke the tradition and stayed home one spring with disastrous results that affected his whole family (2 Samuel chapters 11 through 18).
The tradition of going to war every spring was actually not worth keeping and when his life was saved in a later battle by one of his bravest warriors David was told to not go to war anymore because it would not be good for Israel's king to die in battle (2 Samuel 21:15-17).
Of course, one of the reasons kings went to war each spring was because they wanted what some other king had. David's wars were either to keep what God had given to Israel or finish taking it. In both cases, he had to fight because Israel had not obeyed God when he first said to go and take possession of the land or because they hadn't completely eradicated all the inhabitants when they did go in. When David broke the tradition as described in 2 Samuel 11, he didn't find something else good to do with his time and he also started looking at what his neighbor had and the problems followed. Much work and many problems spring from envy (Ecclesiastes 4:4; 1 Timothy 6:6-10).
When springtime comes along with it comes spring fever when people want to get out and start doing things. Before we act on our desires, we should take a break and think about how to proceed. We should always consider the outcome of our actions and seek God's guidance in all our plans (Luke 14:25-33; Proverbs 16:3; 12:5). Then, we should follow his plans on his timing so our efforts won't turn out to be like a chasing after the wind.
We all know how useless that is in New Mexico. We're just not fast enough to catch the wind here, especially in spring time.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org