Day 30 Bringing Things to a Close
The season for enjoying the fullness of life — partaking of the harvest,
sharing the harvest with others,
and reinvesting and saving portions
of the harvest for yet another season of growth.
As we near the end of our 31 Day journey, I decided that today’s post will simply be a personal reflection on endings.
I’m not sure why as human beings we have such a difficult time with endings. Perhaps it is the glimmer of the Divine within us that struggles with being “inside” of time. We were created into time, yet, we from the moment we are born, begin moving toward eternity which is “outside” of time…
We seem to struggle with reconciling ourselves with TIME. We never have enough of it, seldom make the most of it and often waste it. I know for myself, I make every effort to avoid grief, sadness and discomfort, thinking that in embracing it, it’s not a good use of my time. But why? I think I do myself a disservice? I believe that God created the world we live in to demonstrate how the grand scheme of things works – over and over and over again.
This cycle keeps repeating itself in every facet of life…
Every ending is followed by another beginning. Why is it that we get so hung up on the sadness of endings that we miss that? Why do we not use the seasons of endings to celebrate life as well? Isn’t that how God designed it? Why do we resist them? avoid them? see them only through eyes of sadness?
I believe that gratitude is the missing link. An illustration if you may…
When we clear out our garden beds in the fall, its an opportunity to rejoice in hope over the life that was brought forth, and the life that is to come again in the spring. We are grateful that the land will have a season of rest. Of underground growth and renewal. We usually embrace this easily…
Yet in other areas, like our relationships, seasons of work, home, even age – the focus of our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and upward… we continue to struggle…
Have we not fully enjoyed each season? Why not? Will resisting letting go and saying goodbye help to change that at all?
Of course we know this is not the case.
I post this mostly because this past year I’ve gone through a serious shift in my life. I left the job and church that has been the central hub for most of my adult life (over 16 years). I felt it coming for so long, yet I resisted. I fought it internally and it carried over into my thoughts, my prayers, my conversations. There was no ONE thing that brought about this change, except perhaps, God’s direction…but I needed something to blame, a reason, a justification.
Now I’m asking myself why?
There’s is no reason that our gardens die off, that the summer turns into autumn, into winter into spring…they just do. Sometimes there is no specific reason for a friendship to peter out, or to change jobs, churches, affilitions… they just happen.
Rather than fight it, why not celebrate it? Reflect in grace on all the good, in faith let go of the not so good. Embrace the beauty of the current season with joy and look with hope and expectation of the glorious season to come.
Every season has beauty after all – despite the downsides and they have those too.
I came across this fable that illustrates this, I couldn’t find the author…
Lessons on Life
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.
We can choose to celebrate or to mourn. Both are blessed seasons of life…meant to bring us to the fullness of God.
Here in Canada, the glory of fall will be brought low within a week or two. Then it will be cold and grey more often than not as winter moves in… I will choose to celebrate the end of a lovely season by fully embracing the holiday season in my heart and home. I will walk in gratitude by choice and I will approach the changes in the other areas of my life with the same grace, faith and hope.
It is a beautiful season in my life, God is good.
“In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.”
– Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905