Seasons: Day 4
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
During a recent lunch conversation, a friend and I got on the topic of “significant” birthdays. The particular number under discussion was one looming on her horizon, but solidly in my rearview mirror, making me the expert on the subject.
As our conversation took a more philosophical turn, I shared that a real milestone on the journey of life occurred whenever we realized that life wasn’t going to circle back. That insight can have a thousand “ah-ha” moments from deciding that your family is complete or giving the jeans that haven’t fit in five years to the Salvation Army or acknowledging that you need to clean out the garage and downsize.
The unspoken fear behind those admissions is that our best days may be behind us. It is then that we need to remember something that might be helpful: When we were living those “best” days did we know it? In the midst of the experience, doesn’t walking the floor with a fussy baby or packing endless lunches and checking reams of homework, feel a lot more “under the pile” than “consequential”? That career that brought you praise and promotions, wasn’t all raises and respect, was it? Your success came with a lot of late hours and hard work after everyone else went home.
How often we forget that our most prized achievements and our most cherished relationships started with one step into unknown territory that began a journey with more than its share of on-the-job training.
Each year has its time of glorious spring days. But there can be no spring without winter. It is only in winter that the plant’s energy can be concentrated to its roots, allowing them to grow deep into the soil in preparation for the next growing season. This would not be possible if the plant did not shed the previous year’s spent foliage.
In the last years of her life, one of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “Old age is not for sissies.” The truth is that no age in life is for sissies. And that is how God intended it. Each season of life can teach us new ways to be brave and offer new lessons to be learned that become the unique blessings of a new season of life.