The leaves are falling and my baby’s crawling!
I’m reminded now that we live in Colorado again that seasons change (I guess you could argue that the average temperature moving from 75 to 80 is change, but I digress). Seasons change not only in the physical world we live in, but in our lives as well. There is a piece of me that enjoys the changing of the season because I’m one who is perpetually looking forward to what’s next. So, I see the leaves changing, and I know that snow is on the way. I see Reid crawling, and I know that some months from now he’ll be walking. And there’s a part of me that starts to look forward to the next season.
One of the things that God is challenged me with lately is to embrace the season that I’m in. I don’t know that there’s anything more spiritual than being present – with God or with people. I don’t know that there’s anything that robs us of joy more than our inability to live in the present. Our obsession over the past (either good or bad) or our looking forward to or worrying about the future, truly makes us unable to enjoy today. I am in a season right now of concentrating on intentionally enjoying this season in all of it’s joys and in it’s sadness.
The season of kids crawling isn’t that hard to enjoy because the season of walking sure is a lot of work. The season of fall is easy to enjoy because it passes so quickly; I think everybody who lives in Colorado loves that crisp morning air that fall brings. Other seasons of life are harder to embrace, they’re harder to enjoy, and it’s easy to put your head down and just plug through waiting for what’s next.
That’s where I’m at, I’m in a season of life that I would rather just get to the end of in many ways. This week I had a conversation with my dad and we talked about that dreaded word; HOSPICE. It’s the season that is rapidly approaching and will be upon us by the end of the week (we think). How do I enjoy that season? How do I sense the presence of Jesus in a season that I hoped would never come and that in many ways I don’t feel prepared for… it’s a season that I don’t want to embrace. One of the things God is teaching me is that I don’t need to enjoy this season, but I need to embrace it – because it’s here.
My options aren’t that good, I can either embrace it or I can ignore it and insulate myself from it and hope that it goes away. But, no matter how hard I pray, it’s coming. So the journey God has me on is learning to be present, embrace the season, and walk the road well. He’s inviting me to walk it with him, to wrestle with him, but to not grow cold towards him.
And that’s life isn’t it? The thing that’s consistent for every living person, is that things change. Living things change; they grow, they expand, they shrink, the only thing they don’t do is remain the same. When people used to complain about having a birthday and getting older, my mom used to say, “the alternatives aren’t that good!” She always had a way of seeing the bright side, to see that change and aging meant that we were still living.
So I want to enjoy the fall, even if it means raking tons and tons of leaves. I want to enjoy the crawling, even though it means that I rapidly need to baby proof the house. And as strange as it sounds, I want to embrace (maybe not enjoy, but embrace and affirm that this is reality) hospice. Because well, the alternatives are not that good, and the season will change and when it does, it’s impossible to go back. While everything in me wants to push away, I sense God inviting me to press in, to be present, and to engage without looking forward to the next season on the horizon.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says it well:
3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.