From the comfy confines of a class A office space in Atlanta, I
walked outside like I have done so many times before. The weather seems
to be magnified in the downtown area – if it’s hot you can feel the sun
beaming off the concrete jungle, and when it’s cold you feel the
hurricane like wind tunnel that can only be produced when two 50 story
buildings sit across from each other. This time, not unlike the others,
I sensed a change in the weather and a resulting change in emotions.
For the first time since spring there was a cool breeze blowing, signifying the stifling heat of summer would soon be over. Even in the concrete Jungle there are trees for the breeze to blow through. The leaves made the sound they only make in the fall. The breeze rustled the leaves and some even made their way to the ground. The green leaves will soon turn colors and all will fall from the branches on which they are perched. My first emotion was of sorrow. This summer had been so busy. We rushed through an All Star season of baseball with Levi. We rushed through selling our home. We rushed through moving churches and squeezed a vacation in the middle. I wanted more time to do the things I felt I missed. More swimming…I hadn’t taken the kids to six flags or whitewater…school had already started back. It didn’t matter if I had sorrow or not, the weather was changing and that was just a part of life. I could never turn back the clock.
I thought about the summer passing quickly but I also recognized the beginning of fall meant the beginning of an end. Spring brings newness, summer brings a fullness of life, and fall begins the downturn toward hibernation and ultimately bareness that brings an ending. Perhaps in the back of my mind I related all this to seasons of life for man. We begin with such newness and great expectation and then we reach full bloom and then the “back side” of life. Perhaps this day was reminding me that another year of life was quickly passing. As a youngster it seemed life would go on forever and I’d never be “old”. Life has a cruel way of making you see reality.
On my 47 mile drive home I contemplated the emotions that were stirred inside of me. I guess the sorrow was about ending of another season. It was a realization that life was indeed a vapor. It’s here one moment and gone the next. Did I miss an opportunity to do something I wanted? Had I put off until tomorrow what I could have done today and now it was too late?
After the moment of remorse I began to think about the benefits of the change. Football would soon begin and I love that feeling of attending a high school football game with the brisk cool air. It’s the coolness that requires a light jacket before the onslaught of frigid temps that require the thick bulky jacket. The smell of a hot bowl of chili or soup would soon be common and provide that warmth that the weather so often seems to take out of our bodies. There would soon be the smell, sights and sound of a fire in the fireplace that seems to put me at ease. I Love the spring and summer…but I love the fall and winter too. I can’t have both at the same time…one has to give way to the other.
Youth may be passing or even passed but that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and do nothing but remember the “good old days”. Each season of life brings opportunities that only exist in that season. Rather than think about what could have been, I need to think about what can be. Paul the apostle would say “This is the day of salvation”. Not yesterday or tomorrow. We must be forward looking no matter what season we are in. After all Ecclesiastes says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
Maybe I put too much thought into that first autumn feeling of the year. Just maybe God was teaching me a lesson. Living life isn’t always the same. If we get too comfortable it can be hard for us to be used by God. Following God often requires we are removed from our comfort zone so as to not serve ourselves but serve Him. Whatever season we find ourselves in…there is much to do and much to which we can look forward. Whether you are joyous, sorrowful, sad, glad, mad or even depressed, God still has a plan for your life and you are just in one season of many for your life. The book of Jeremiah says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
I don’t know what the future holds but I trust in God and know he has the best plan. So I welcome the fall and winter and will look for opportunities to serve him…I hope you will too.