It’s graduation season. I’ve got two announcements on my desk right now waiting for the customary card and check to be sent out in celebration of having made it through high school. Not only does this signify a major milestone for these two graduates of the class of 2017, it also ushers in a “season” where every May for the the next 10 or so years, we will be getting these announcements as our very close group of friends transition their children (my own included) from high school to college, and then college to . . .
My own journey, both personally and professionally has seen a changing of seasons over the last number of months. Back in August, I left a decade long run of being on the radio and transitioned into a role that some days “fits” better than others.
On the days when I find myself questioning or doubting my effectiveness, it is then that I begin to look back on other seasons in my life where things seemed to be easier or more fun. I recognize that we can’t live in a state of perpetual vacation, but is there a healthy balance of experiencing the pleasure of a talent or accomplishment while diligently working through the hard parts of the current season?
I was curious to know if anyone else felt this tug-of-war in their own lives and posted a question that read “For those of you who have had radical career changes, do you find yourself missing a particular skill set you no longer get to regularly practice? If so, which one?” The answers I got were as varied as the people who responded. A few, like me, missed aspects of the broadcast world. Some had a hard time in the transition from standard employment to working as an at home mom. Others missed teaching, nursing or helping abuse victims. For many, their season had also changed and pulled them onto a new path altogether.
In the natural world, we are entering into a new season as well. Spring is going to continue to warm until it gives way to summer. Eventually summer will cool to fall. Fall will drop everything for the sake of winter. Then, winter will melt away under the sweet gaze of spring.
While I’m sure God could have created a world that stayed perfectly comfortable at 80 degrees year round, I think the natural season have much to teach us about the seasons of our lives and the changes we experience as human beings. Every winter I find myself longing for warmer weather, but I recognize that without the freezing weather, cockroaches would soon take over the world. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but winter plays a very important role in diminishing the growth of things we don’t want around.
The beauty of spring, with its new growth and blossoms, inspire the heart and spirit. Yet, without maturing, there would never be any fruit. Summer’s sunshine brings us outdoors and gets us active, but as leaves start to fall, the ever important process of winter’s decay enriches the ground and fuels the growth of spring. Feel free to start humming The Byrds “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
While it’s easy to long for a season past or strain our eyes trying to see what may lay ahead, there are very real and necessary things for us to learn and experience in the season where we are. I must remind myself of this important lesson from time to time.
As for gifts and talents that seem to be dormant, I trust that if the Lord wants them to push through the earth once again, He’ll bring the Spring. However, if my attitude is simply wanting to camp out in summer, relaxing by the pool in the ease of life, I know that God will then bring the chill in the air to remind me that vacation is over, and it’s time to get back to work.
So, winter, spring, summer or fall, let us ask for the vision to see the importance of what is happening during this necessary season of our life.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8