As you know, fall is my favorite time of the year: From the changing colors of leaves falling to the ground, a variety of pumpkins, from Cinderella, to Baking strewn everywhere, and hot drinks and fur-lined boots for that gnat-less, cooler air. And smack dab in the middle of it all, I get to celebrate my birth date! But the down-side of my favorite season is the time change. Once the blanket of darkness falls, I begin shutting down. As a hibernating mode kicks in, despair can grow. It doesn’t help that one of my favorite autumn movies, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” feeds that gloominess with Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to her brokenhearted little sister, Tootie, at the thought of the family having to move to New York. The bright sunrise of Christmas on the horizon can spark a seasonal gloominess, as well. There’s just something about the time change and the nostalgia of Christmas that invites a gloominess of looking back or a type of homesickness.
As season’s came and season’s went, being the wife of a pastor and moving numerous times, I saw it as a wonderful adventure with the kiddos still under the roof. The hardest season of all was when it was time to move and having to leave that first child behind. And then, another one departed from the nest, until it was that last one, and she decided to do things a little differently and not return home. The pain of those years to a mother’s heart (and father’s) is something that sneaks up on you and can leave you with nothing. And you just can’t imagine the season of “I do” and they are all married off. Then along comes the season of building families of their own. Some grandparents are actively involved and enjoy this season. For some grandparents, it can be a missing out on a truly wonderful season whether the choice is theirs or not.
Seasons come and seasons go! No matter how old you are, unfortunately they never get easier, but are always demanding that you learn a lesson. We are now at the end of a season (and another lesson) where we have finished the responsibility of keeping a grandchild while his parents worked. To not grow in gloominess and despair is the task that comes every year at this time, and now heaped on top is added – the end of a treasured season. To say I haven’t cried a bucket of tears would be untrue or sobbed from the thought of what I might miss. Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes jump off the page, “Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NLT). Wow, and to think I married a man who finds this book from the Bible to be one of his favorites!
Thankfully, Solomon, didn’t stay stuck finding purposelessness “under the sun” but learned that “living life alongside the Son” was what brought meaning into an otherwise meaningless existence. Our pastor just happens to be preaching from this book of the Bible now, in my seasonal chaos and retiring from keeping my grand on a day to day basis, I know it is God’s message to me, if not a grand hug from Him!
“For everything there is a season,Ecclesiastes 3:1
a time for every activity under heaven.”
“So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.”Ecclesiastes 3:12-14
So instead of viewing my seasons as pointless, they have a divine purpose!