Summer comes and goes so fast. The beach vacations, picnics in the parks, hot lazy afternoons playing barefoot in a stream, all eventually come to an end. A time of extensive growth and greenery gives way to cooler temperatures and shades of brown. There’s something sad about the change in the season. It’s not that I mind fall, it’s actually my favorite season of the year. But the end of summer is like saying “goodbye” to a good friend that you won’t see again for nine months.
The word goodbye is a little bit of a mystery to me. It is derived from the phrase, “God be with you.” It implies a parting or leaving from a place or person. What’s so good about being apart? What’s so good about leaving a person or place that you dearly love?
The world is full of wonder and excitement. We love exploring new things and experiencing events with people who are close to us. One thing that makes saying “goodbye” so hard is that it requires release. It means we must release the thing we love; we can no longer have the thing we have enjoyed. It doesn’t necessarily mean we can never go back; there’s always next year’s summer vacation. But it won’t be the exact moment that we just experienced. The people and places will have changed; age and progress wait for no one.
About twenty-five years ago, I experienced a time of intense spiritual growth. I read the entire Bible and portions of it over and over again. I couldn’t be satisfied. Even while I was in the midst of this time, I knew it wouldn’t last. I knew that God was teaching and preparing me for something important in my immediate future. Today I believe that it was to own the cabinet shop. He knew the incredible stress I would experience from owning a business. Without a firm relationship with the Lord, I would never have succeeded.
Many times I have wished I could go back to that season in my life; I miss the closeness that I felt with God. I don’t believe God is any further away; he hasn’t abandoned me, nor I him. But that particular moment can never be lived again. It was a gift for that time; a gift I will never forget.
The seasons remind us that life is full of changes; some are sad but most are good. God never intended for us to remain the same; he wants us to grow both physically and spiritually.
Daniel 2:20-21 – NIV
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
I am thankful for the changes that God has brought me through. And I am thankful for the lessons learned along the way.
The mug is raised today as a toast to the season! May you enjoy today and never look back with regret!