I awakened in the night and said to myself, “I’ve crossed over,” which was my nod to an August birthday. My wife remembers details of all my birthdays, but what I remember is how late August portends fall, as nights become cooler, leaves start their turn and a new season emerges.
Life has seasons, too, which really came into focus when I spoke at a camp and gathered with counselors and program staff the ages of my children. I had once done what they did — for several entire summers — and remembered when I had their energy and enthusiasm. Now I was the old one in the meeting, but still wanted to contribute to the discussion.
I had acquired a breadth of experience through the years, having moved from counseling to program directing and, eventually, to staff training, but in this meeting, no one asked for my input. So I sat quietly and absorbed another reminder of the changing season of my life. They wanted to try their own ideas, as I had wanted to try my own ideas when I was their age.
This awareness of the seasons of life is common as our bodies change, our interests shift, and we watch a younger generation move onto the ground we once held. Yet, the fact they have moved onto our former place does not mean we are “out to pasture,” since the truth is we have not moved off stage but only to the next stage.
The God-given purpose for our life continues, but we have a new position to play as we assume the ground vacated by another, who has also shifted to a new stage. This is how God works, and he sculpts us through good and bad, preparing us for our next place of serving. It is embracing his plan that frees us from holding too tightly to the life we are leaving behind.
When we let go, we begin to see the excitement and opportunity that is ahead. We once measured excitement by risk or novelty as we pushed the limits of our ability and endurance, but now we begin to measure excitement differently. It becomes less and less about “me” and more about what God is doing. He is at work, accomplishing more than we can imagine, and he invites us to move from our past into this abundant future, as we embrace our new season of life.
Article provided by Pastor Alan Johnson, Urban Heights Covenant Church, 7605 Aurora Ave., Urbandale, 515-278-1371