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Season of Destiny
© 1991, Roy Stucky

"I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen....",
Bilbo Baggins


Years like a glacier and flood have passed by me,
Thoughts parading to the vanishing point -
Here to horizons that anoint
The leagues trod in this room.

Is not the tale of the comfortable questing?
From familiar into testing?
My garden at twilight left behind for the storm,
The womb for the fate of being born?

Season of destiny
Now come alive.
Season of destiny
Intended and yet a surprise.
Season of destiny.

The season for growing gave way to knowing
The time to respond with deeds worthy of song.

A child became an old man
Who could finally understand
What it takes to be a new man
In this wander land.

Season of destiny
Now come alive.
Season of destiny
Intended and yet a surprise.
Season of destiny.

 


This song uses winter to represent the period after the initial enthusiasm of salvation has worn off, and must be replaced by a growth toward maturity that is not dependent on the external environment. After epiphany comes assimilation, the journey to the destination that dazzled the eyes which suddenly saw through the disguise, the heart that learned the longing for the prize.

As an aside, this song in no way uses destiny to mean a fatalistic predestination. God has given us opportunity by His grace to choose to follow the Plan He has for our lives. But He has also given us the freewill to follow the road to Hell instead.

On another level this song is about looking back over the cascade of transformations by which a child becomes aware of the immensity of Life; ever larger as vision expands. The next transformation, when our view of reality will explode yet again in an ascension that looks down in pity at the being who had lived in such a tiny enclosure, over time comes to be anticipated in a way calling us to walk out of our cocoon to meet the next undefined change.

Facing yet another sloughing off of our present form-worn identity, it is a simple self-deception to extrapolate the collapse of all our beliefs, a typical feature of a transformation, into a symbol of reality in full, and to then assert there are no absolutes, no solid ground. Yet in order to remain intact through the transformations, "to be a new man" yet retain your identity, you must realize our ever-finite vision has no impact whatsoever on the truth. Reality cares nothing for our understanding, as the people who daily perish for lack of knowledge mutely attest.

The question here is, "So I've left behind my former life, cut myself off from my old group, to be a servant of the Most High. Now where?"

The quote is from The Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, in that the old hobbit Bilbo has taken his place by the fire in Rivendell, and thinks back on the transformations that led there. This song came from that sort of looking back.

"Glacier" stands for almost motionless water, in that so many experiences lay behind me I sometimes feel I've been alive a thousand years.

"Flood" stands for water in rapid violent motion which carries me along so quickly I am not even aware of time's passage, leaving me wondering how it can be that so many years have passed since I awoke to Life.

"Vanishing point" is the distance spoken of in Night Curtain. It is also a play on the concept used to bring depth perception to flat paintings and drawings, in that retrospection allows us to see the context of our lives.

"Leagues" is of course a measure of distance, but also a play on being able to travel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea without leaving your room.

"This room" in some measure stands for the Church. Inside the Church we can grow in the nurture and admonition of the brethren, but at some point we must venture beyond this stained glass protection.

"From familiar into testing" is the pain of being cut off from one's relationships. Sailing forth into the world as a soldier of the Cross is hardly a comfortable journey.

"Garden" is drawn from the "tale" of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and from the Bible. It represents both what Bilbo thought about when starting on his journey, and Adam and Eve being thrown out of Eden.

"Twilight" completes the quote drawn from The Hobbit, but also is an image that plays along with the autumn theme of the song and it's passage through dark places.

"Fate of being born" ties to the second birth as well as leaving behind our comfortable sleep to join the campaign of the Kingdom of Heaven.

"Intended" is that we choose to accept or reject Jesus.

"Surprise" is that when we make the decision to follow Jesus, the richness He has in store for us is beyond our imagination.

"Season" ties to October Dream in that the spring of childhood and the autumn coming of age have passed, and we are entering the time of wind and ice when the forces of the world will try to prevent our carrying Life through to the new spring of the second birth. The season is pivotal to the song. If Satan can keep us from making it through the winter, we will never reach the spring, the time for us to reproduce the Life we have been given. It is "time to respond" to the winter by throwing off the weight of sin that so easily besets us and live so as to pass on the gift of salvation that makes the angels of Heaven rejoice and sing the "song" of the Lamb.

In winter, nature pulls it's life back to the roots, discarding what is not essential. The milk of the Word is like the leaves of summer in that it nourishes and strengthens us for the tribulations that will come. But maturity requires that we go forward. Meat may not be as instantly gratifying but it is infinitely more fulfilling. We have an Enemy, a winter that would wick the life out of our desiccated carcass if allowed to do so, whose presence in this world requires us to be strong and sober; armed.

"Old man" ties to Underground Life and the child who had the structures of life but no Life.

"New man" ties to the second birth.

"Wander land" is that we are aliens in this world, citizens of another Kingdom, ambassadors of Heaven. The word play on 'wonderland' is that this world is an Alice in Wonderland place where things are not as they appear, where often up is down and left is right.


In the allegory, this song is the winter following October Dream. The young builder sits beside the fire and thinks back on his former life, and those who are still caught in the deception. He knows the task before him is to return and try to open their eyes.

On the epiphany level this is the young builder's fourth visitation, this time by the call to serve God.


This lyric was written in October of 1991.

This song was written when I felt the time had come when my life needed to expand outward, and begin to carry some concepts into action.


Quotations
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10


"You are no longer a child, for you have seen and heard and felt evil, said the Physician. It is good that you have known it, for a knowledge of evil brings manhood and aversion. You are now armed."
Taylor Caldwell


"...Who knows? Perhaps you have come into royalty for just such a time as this."
Esther 4:14


"Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?"

"Such questions cannot be answered said Gandalf. You may be sure it was not for any merit that others do not possess: not for power or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have."
J.R.R. Tolkien

 


Bibliography

God (forever and ever)
The Holy Bible

(Janet Miriam Holland) Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985)
Dear and Glorious Physician (1958)

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
The Lord of the Rings (1954)