Thursday, August 23, 2007
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... a time to be born, and a time to die..."
If there's any verse which pops into my mind nearly every day, it's that one.
I mean, there's a season for EVERYTHING. A time to be and act like a child--and a time to grow-up and act like an adult. A time to be in your 30's and a time to be in your 50's. A time to have young children in your home and a time for them to move away and make their way into adulthood. A time to have a large house and yard, and a time to downsize so you can more easily care for what you own. A time to travel to faraway places and a time to stay closer to home.
I find that I feel and know such incredible peace when I cooperate with my current season. It's when I try skipping seasons or jumping into the wrong ones that I experience trouble and discomfort. When Naomi was ten, I began worrying and fearing the time she would leave home--and leave us. There was no grace for me to ponder Naomi's leaving when she was only ten--the grace arrived when the time arrived for her to go. In fact, the last two years she still lived at home--from ages 23-25--the grace to have her there was, well, thin. A case of mixing-up the seasons again?
Tom and I have a small yard now, but we'd like a larger one next time. We figure we have around ten good years left in us to work a bigger yard, and perhaps a larger house as well. Sometimes we still kick around the dream of creating a bed and breakfast inn within our home. And maybe having a foster child or two. Again, we figure these next ten years will probably be our last ones for taking on such big dreams. After we've turned 60, well, who knows?
And truthfully? We're ok with that. With the not-knowing our exact future or just how many more good years we have left in us. Oh, in my younger years I used to declare I would always, even at 90, live in my own house, even alone if it came to that (heaven forbid), as long as I could remain independent, dwelling inside my own place (with a few cats thrown in, as well. Uh-oh.).
But guess what? I find myself changing with the years. I find myself changing with wisdom. And I have days--even now at just 48--where we drive by the senior apartment building in our town and as we pause at the traffic light, I watch the elderly women sitting upon the benches beneath the trees out front--and I think, "That looks fun. I'll bet they play tea party in their homes." They sit and laugh and sow seeds of friendship and reap gardens from those seeds. They're not alone, but have companionship, not only lest they fall, but lest they feel lonely. And as Tom and I turn the corner after the light, we see the senior community hall where parties are held. I smile at the crepe paper streamers there, and well, crepe paper just says party time, I guess.
I can think of worse ways to grow old and trust me, I no longer hold onto what I grasped with all my heart before--that thing of preferring to live on my own, alone, rather than move with others close to my age. However old that age may be. No, I've let go of that. Why? Because I've learned to respect seasons, their ebb and flow and their differences. And to treasure and bask in the jeweled moments and opportunities each season brings--during its own hour, not waiting until after that hour has passed.
Besides, when God truly is the most important person in your life--when your greatest delight is a cup of coffee in the morning with Him--then you have positively nothing to fear. For you realize wherever you are, whichever season you may be in, He will be right there across the table from you. And He will always be enough.
And after that? Heaven. And oh, what a season that will be.