When I was little and it came time to bid visitors farewell, I would hide upstairs. There’s something about goodbyes that has never sat well with me. I would rather freeze everyone in time the way they were when we were enjoying ourselves together.
They say that change is the only constant in life, but I’ve never done well with transitions.
It is at these times that I remember Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8:
- There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
- A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
- A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
- A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
- A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
- A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
- A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
- A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Change is uncomfortable and can be scary, but it is inevitable. The more we can lean into its natural rhythm in our lives, the better equipped we will be the next time we are faced with something unexpected.
Over the years, the beach where my family vacations in Massachusetts has experienced physical changes. Every year, there are noticeable differences to the formation of the dunes due to erosion. Tide pools and sandbars pop up in different places along the beach, as its new landscape is revealed after a long winter.
These changes are natural. As natural as the tides. When we step onto the beach at the beginning of the season, there is always something new and exciting to discover. As I seek to grow and make changes in my own life, I am trying not to let worry and fear of the unknown take hold. I am trying to treat each new venture as I do the discovery of the changing seaside landscape, and approach it with excitement rather than fear.
As much as we’d like to freeze time, growing and changing is healthy and natural. We should celebrate where we’ve been, what we’ve learned and the people we’ve met along the way. There are valuable lessons that we learn during each stage of life and that will only continue as we move forward and gain more life experience.
Things take time. Change takes time. Healing takes time. As does the gradual transition between each season. We should give ourselves the same respect as we do nature, saying, “for everything there is a season.” We should look at change with the same anticipation as we do the excitement of the start of a new season, full of hope for the fullness of days to come.