The Last Word

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During the past few weeks, I have watched a glorious change of seasons begin in the mountains surrounding my home. With it, we are easing into my favorite season of the year; I agree with poet Stanley Horowitz, who penned, “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” It seems that as each season fades I look toward the next with energy and excitement, ready for all it will bring—even those things not yet seen or known.

img blg SeasonsNewAutumn CopyDuring those same few weeks, I have been easing into a new season in my life—one that is bringing me peace and hope and renewed faith. I have looked at it much as I have looked at the magic of the changing leaves around me—with a sense of wonder and gratitude. But as I reflected on the changing seasons of a life that spans the decades, I asked myself, Am I even a fraction as eager when facing my own change of seasons as I am to see the change in seasons around me?

The answer gives me pause. I embrace the new season I am facing today. But I can’t say the same for every new season that has entered my life and swept me into new circumstances. New possibilities, often with unmeasured risks. Some filled with such uncertainty I doubted my ability to navigate them. New horizons—some of them bringing the prospect of frigid winds, some bringing the promise of gentle warmth, much like this sunrise over the Atlantic we captured one still, tranquil morning just a few months into our marriage. 

img blg SeasonsSunriseBut then I realized the upside in every change of season: there is beauty to be found in every changing of the earth’s seasons. And there is a deep, innermost grace to be found in standing firm, meeting the changing of each of the heart’s seasons as well, because in them we can also find beauty—even if not apparent at first. To read more, click below.

I’ve navigated many seasons in my life. You have too. There were seasons of textbooks and exams and jaw-dropping new discoveries. There were seasons of diapers and late-night feedings and placing a cotton ball under the nose of a napping baby to make sure she was still breathing. There were seasons of parent-teacher conferences and Little League games and science fair projects dripping with Elmer’s glue. There were seasons of watching children, now grown, leaving the nest and returning for a moment with a grandchild fresh from heaven. And through it all there were seasons of career uncertainty as well as accomplishment and seasons of captured dreams as well as the dreams that slipped away.

img blg SeasonsSpringAnd what I realize through it all is that just like seasons, people have the ability to change. I’m not the same person who stood in the airport anxiously waiting for the arrival of my new baby boy. I’m not the same person who sat in a Congressional hearing about the atrocities in Vietnam. I’m not the same person who stood next to the casket of my much-loved child. I’m not even the same person who just eighteen months ago stood near a canopy of trees in my friend’s back yard, scuffed up by the threat of Covid, to give myself to the love of my life. But now, as I face this new season with all its promise, I am changed in the best of ways. I see this new season as a perfect time to do something new, something bold, something beautiful.

It can be the same for you.

We can’t change the seasons—not the ones in the mountains around us, and not the ones in the mountains of our soul. We often can’t change the circumstances in which we find ourselves. But we can change ourselves—and as we embrace the new seasons and cycles in our lives, we find that there is magic in change . . . the same magic we find in the leaves that gradually take on new designs and new colors.

Today, right now, join me in embracing the season of life you are in, whether it’s a season of rain or a season of sunshine. Both are magnificent. Because God is using this season, regardless of how it looks on its surface, to shape you and prepare you for a glorious future.

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