To Everything there is a Season-A day for Reflection
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and you will find it in the book of Ecclesiastes in Chapter 3, Verse 1. This verse gained a lot of notoriety in the 1960’s when a popular rock band used it for a song they performed. Many seasons in our life are challenging and I spoke about crisis, challenge and misfortune in earlier posts in this blog.
This verse has significance for me today because on this day 30 years ago my father passed away. During the period of time between that day and this one there were times when I remembered this day and other years when it just passed by with little fanfare. For some reason I cannot understand this date has more significance for me this year and in this state of my life. I’ll do my best to try and explain why and also help you understand why you need to pause and reflect as well when significant things occur in your life.
Let’s go back 30 years and set the stage. I graduated from college in 1981 and was working in a small manufacturing facility in northwest Tennessee. My wife and I had married on September 11, 1982 (here we go with dates again, 9-11) and my dad had retired one month prior to the wedding. He and my mom then headed to Florida to buy that vacation home and they had a contract on one when he got the news that he had advanced lung cancer. They moved back to Illinois in November and he started radiation treatments in December. The cancer was too advanced and he continued his decline during the early months of 1983.
During this same period Gena and I decided we wanted to move to the Nashville area. I went in one day to talk to the HR manager about our plans and he informed me that the plant was getting read to have a reduction in force and that my job was going go to be eliminated. Little did I know that the plan that my wife and I had devised was really God’s plan, but His plan had a few twists and turns we had not considered. My last day was March 31 and dad was not doing well so I headed north to spend time with him. I was there in the early morning hours of Friday April 8, 1983 when he took that final breath. His life had not been long, but it had been full.
One month later Gena graduated from college and we moved that same weekend. If you ever take one of those stress assessments with the stress level for key life events you would find that our first year of marriage was off the chart with stressful events like those I just described.
We had a short detour in rural middle Tennessee and ended up in the Nashville area by August 1983. We have never looked back.
Life is full of many seasons and I have found that I cannot ever fully appreciate the current season without looking at the seasons leading up to the current one. Nothing happens in isolation and our seasons, for better or for worse, prepare us for what is coming.
I never fully appreciated my father while he was alive, but the significance of not having him around as an adult finally hit me about 2 years ago when my oldest son became 23. I had no personal role model for parenting a grown son (I have two) because my father was not there when I was that age. My father in law has done a great job in my dad’s absence and I am blessed to have him and my mother in law.
Life’s seasons often take us to places we don’t think we want to go, but trust me, every journey I have seen has had a purpose and I suspect the same is true for you.
Take the time to pause and reflect today, or soon, to see not just where you are, but how you got to this place.
There is a time for everything. Trust me, I know.