There is a song by David Bowie called “Changes”. (If you are curious, or don’t know them, the lyrics are here: http://www.lyricsdepot.com/david-bowie/changes.html) There is also a song that most of us know, by The Byrds called “Turn, Turn, Turn”, which is actually referencing a Bible passage from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, in which King Solomon muses on The Meaning of Life. (Did you know that question is actually answered in the Bible?) All of these things taken together remind us that life is full of change as well as seasons of change……and seasons that stay the same.
It may seem contradictory, but we all it to be true that life has long stretches of sameness, which can be interrupted at anytime by punctuations of SURPRISE-AWESOME!!!…..as well as SURPRISE-TRAGEDY!!! Mentioning this to people can sometimes get you into a little more than hot water…..more like hot cheese fondue! If someone is enduring (or having fits) during a trial or unplanned-for surprise in their life, they may feel you are tossing out pat answers and band-aid solutions while they are in the middle of very real pain and shock. It may help to remind them that you have (and you have, or very shortly will, trust me) experienced this same sense of being suddenly upside-down, underwater, backwards, and inside-out all at the same time. You couldn’t find your footing. You had trouble even drawing breath. You forgot about many other priorities that seemed rather unimportant in comparison.
As frightening and unnerving as such unpleasant life surprises can be, perhaps more difficult to bear up under are the long periods of waiting, of working, of hoping, of paying dues and paying it forward, while everyone else and their fat, stuffed camel seem to be getting ahead, making the grade, overcoming, over-achieving, and having their grandest life dreams realized. Let’s step back at that and take another look…..everybody and their fat, stuffed camel but you. It’s all fine and good when all your friends and you have brand new cars, or bigger, better houses, or dream jobs, or trophy wives (or husbands, or kids), or a shiny new BBQ; but take out the “and”, substitute a “but”, “aaaaand, you’ve got trouble my friends, right here in River City! Trouble with a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘P” and that stands for…” Sorry, I really like that movie. But you get my point; it is hard to be happy for other people when they get want you want and you don’t. It might help us all if someone puts things into perspective a kindergartner would appreciate and tells us that there are lots of things in the world, enough for every single one of us. Of course, adults like us are much too mature for silly things like jealousy. Right?? OK, moving on…
It might help, during those times, if you manage to remember that life has seasons of things. When I was younger and heard anyone start talking about “seasons of life”, I always pictured a dry desert floor during a long, hot summer, or a cold, harsh winter that stretched on and on and on…It can definitely feel that way when you’re in the middle of something that is hard to face, let alone overcome, move past, and accept that life goes on. Keep in mind that since the dawn of time, there has always been a sunset, then, after a while, there has always been a sunrise. In all of this, God has a purpose. Sometimes the waiting is to keep us from harm. Sometimes it’s the waiting a gardener does, waiting for a seed to grow. God has placed amazing things in each of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Your life is not finished until your death. There are so many seeds left to grow. What you’re going through right now is only a season.
Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 8:7