Nothing New Under the Sun
Seasons change. That’s something we can all agree on. Seasons of the year, plainly seen by all in the changing trees, sunrise and set, and the weather around us… But also, and more importantly, seasons of life. Seasons of life, some linger like an unforgiving winter with no end in sight, while others fly by like a leaf caught up in the swift wind tunnels of early spring. Can anyone relate? I think we all experience this, which isn’t a shocker – for the bible tells us so.
When we were children we coveted nothing higher than simply growing up. We anticipated adulthood like it was some sort of medal to be won, or achievement to be gained – as if the innocent ignorance and bliss of childhood were not enough to satisfy our simple minds. I vaguely remember wishing and even praying for the imminent independence and freedom that adulthood would surely bring. Dreaming about being able to do whatever my heart would desire as a carefree adult. Having my own money, my own place, my own vehicle – even my own children to “boss around” and have them do trivial chores for me like some sort of slaves while I sat back and basked in the ease of my glorious adult throne.
This might seem like the one season that, in hindsight, all of us can look back on and warn the youth of today not to rush towards. We will give them warnings of the impending doom that coming of age would bring. The bills, the responsibilities, the pain and heartache, the workload and resulting exhaustion. Once we become parents and have children of our own, we will finally realize “what our parents went through” and how the saying about having a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body rings so very true.
But the thing is, once we’re there, we think that we’re experts or something. We realize that we were so naive in our youth – to rush those years away – but we don’t realize that we are repeating the same cycle only garbed in grown-up clothes and a different set of circumstances. The carousel never stops. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon so eloquently put it.
The truth is, we are never going to be there, we are never going to feel completely satisfied here on earth. If we don’t learn where true contentment comes from, and start enjoying the moment and the journey we are on, we will constantly struggle with that not enough mentality. I’m not saying that dreaming and looking forward to what’s to come is wrong or sinful, it’s so good and so important to have dreams, aspirations and goals – but we can’t live in a constant state of want. We can’t live for tomorrow by rushing through today’s mundane tasks with a mentality that we just want to get them over with.
Wishing Away The Days
Ever see the movie Click, with Adam Sandler? I love it because it’s so relatable. So many of us live our lives on auto-pilot, barely tolerating today’s nuances and trials, telling ourselves it’ll be over soon, next week – next year – next season will be more favorable. We’ll be happy when we get that raise, once our kids grow out of this phase we will have peace, if only our spouse would make these changes we could be content in our relationship, etc.
We raise our children with such great expectations starting out, but soon find that the days are long, while forgetting that the years are short. We rush the sleepless nights of the newborn months away only to wake up with a teething baby, and we can’t wait for the endless crying to stop, only to start chasing after a waddling toddler – getting into everything. Will this ever stop? Let’s put up gates, baby-proof everything, protect them from every possible danger, but then it seems like we no sooner plug the last outlet and sanitize the last sippy-cup that made it’s way under the kitchen table that we barely recognize our “babies” anymore, they are on to the next milestone – our next trial. I could go on, but I think you get my point…
The next time we find ourselves complaining over the season we are in, let’s do our best to remember where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, the mountains we’ve climbed, the valleys we’ve survived, and the goodness of God for bringing us this far. Like my pastor said in a recent sermon, “If we don’t remember, we forget.” Whatever season you find yourself in right now is sure to pass, and tomorrow will have troubles (and joys) of it’s own. Find something – anything – to be grateful for in this current season. You may not see the purpose of it, the way that everything will work itself out and the meaning behind what you’re currently going through, but friend – there is one, and one day it will all make sense.