As Fall approaches, and another school year begins, I’ve been reminded of the faithful way God leads, guides, and directs our lives. If we divided our lives into seasons that match Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, it might prove to be somewhat illuminating.
Just as Spring, of course is the time of beginnings, those early years of our lives are filled with learning experiences, growing pains, and efforts at maturing. During the Summer of our lives, we busy ourselves accomplishing goals, establishing homes, raising our families, and carving out a place for ourselves in this world. In the Fall of our lives, we move from traveling at breakneck speed, to those ‘slowing down years in our 50’s or even 60’s. Significance seems to be more important to us in the Fall years of our lives, rather than the constant striving for success.
Sometimes, God graciously allows us to experience that season of Winter in our lives. Not a cold, icy time, but rather one which allows us to reflect on where we’ve been, and the passing of years. My dear friend, Dr. Ward Tanneberg has given me permission to share some of his thoughts on that season of life we might call Winter. He writes:
“It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all those years went.
I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is … the winter of my life now, and it catches me by surprise. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember seeing older people through the years and thinking that those “older people” were years away from me and winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.
But now I know. My Winter season is here.
My friends are retired and getting grey. They move slower; Some are in better and others in worse shape than me … but I see the great change. Not like the ones I remember who were young and vibrant … but, like me, their age is not beginning to show; it’s already in full bloom. We are now those older folks we used to see and never thought we’d be.
Each day now, I find just getting a shower is a real target for the day. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore … it’s mandatory. If I don’t nap of my own free will … I just fall asleep where I sit.
So now, as I enter this new season of my life, I realize I was a bit unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things. And, although the Winter of life has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last, when it’s over on this earth, a new Forever season will begin and never end! My eternity has been secured in the person and work of Jesus.”
Dr. Tanneberg continues, “If you’re not in your Winter season yet … let me remind you, it will be here faster than you think. Life’s seasons go by quickly. Do what you can TODAY.”
And I would add the words of the Psalmist David in Ps. 31, when he said, “But as for me, I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in Your hand.’