"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven"
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Someone recently asked me what I missed most about living in the midwest? I have lived along the Gulf now for twenty years, or as the folks around here would say, "Since Tropical Storm Allison." When you have lived along the Gulf this long, you learn that most every story that focuses on a particular time period starts with the name of storm.
I told the woman that I missed fall the most. "What? Not the snow?"
I smiled and laughed as I told her that, "If I never have to shovel snow again, it will be too soon!"
Truth be told, I loved the snow at times as well. There is just something about the season of fall though, that seems to draw my mind to a different season, or feeling. I loved how the air seemed to surrender the heat of summer. The leaves, now bright crimson and burnt orange flowed over the hillsides, and soon, covered the forest floor, as sunlight would find it's way through empty branches to illuminate the pathway ahead.
It's interesting how different seasons promote different memories. Although I miss those moments, for me now as an adult, the thought of fall is quickly a reminder that winter will soon follow.
Aging is a process that we all encounter.
We are Ecclesiastical people. Our lives are marked by seasons, or chapters. Each one is important, no matter how long or short it may be.
Our ability to maneuver through seasons, or situations in our lives, mark both our successes and challenges. There are years of education, our working years, and simply the journeys that bring us people who will present for all the times of our life. Each chapter involves life and death.
Choosing to end one chapter and beginning the next can be marked by many things. I can remember ten years ago after a serious illness, losing my job, and everything that I "knew" that represented my life, I found myself asking someone, "Who am I now? Everything that I once knew as 'me' is now gone."
It's funny how roles can determine our importance. What I discovered in that chapter of my life was that I was being re-created in a different way. I'm not sure I would be as good of a hospice chaplain, or pastor, had I not experienced that year off illness and closures that seemed to invite me to question my faith. In many ways, my darkest days made it possible for me to walk today in the valley of the shadow of death with others.
Being Ecclesiastical people is the invitation to allow for seasons. To celebrate chapters, and to welcome change. Trees are reminders that seasons are important to each of us. I don't believe the tree is too concerned about the winter, because even in winter the tree is awaiting for the next chance to bud out in the spring.
God is always like that. When a season ends for us, God has the next chapter ready to be written. To everything there is a season.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.