Just after Christmas I took a peaceful stroll in the woods close to our home. It was cold and especially quite. You could hear everything: every breath, every step, branches falling to the straw covered ground, squirrels scampering in the green pines and, I could even hear my own thoughts. This was a time of reflection for me.
The end of the year is here. It’s a time to slow down from the crazy spinning cycle of life and just think, reflect.
As I walked and listened, I stumbled across this old car. It was a 1940-ish Ford coupe dusted with fresh morning snow. In one sense it looked quite serene nestled between the pines. But the more I observed, the more I saw it as it was: broken down, rusty, cracked and parts sagging to the ground. Realistically? quite useless. Beauty and attractiveness had long sense gone.
Yet, I thought of how this car must have been a source of great convenience for the family which owned it zooming from home to school, from work to home, from home to church and – life to life.
I also thought of the memories that must have been made in this car: the conversations, the laughter, tears over turmoil, painful decisions that had to be made, and trips to the park or movie theater downtown for a noon matinee. Maybe, the aged ripened sedan hurried mother to the hospital to deliver their first child.
As grand as this car must have been in its day to this nameless family, like all things, it had a beginning and an end. The time came when they had to let go of it.
So, here it was decade’s later right where they parked it – for the last time. It just sits alone and silent, slowly rusting away through warm summer rains and frosty winters.
Listening to my own thoughts and thinking of this time in my life a faint hint drifted by: “You know, I too am in a season of letting go. I’m 50 years old. Things are not as new and vibrant as they once were. There’s less opportunity in front of me and ample past. I’m no longer in a season of holding on to things and those I love as I once did. In the past my life was more about building, protecting and establishing. Now, much of what I do is about letting go.
Though sobering, these thoughts didn’t distress me, I simply accepted them as they were: the season God has ordained for me, for us all, to walk through.
I’m letting go of my children as they establish their own lives and families.
I’m letting go of my parents as they age and their health declines.
I’m letting go being their child and now becoming a parent.
I’m letting go of castle in the sky dreams I formed in my head as a barefooted boy.
I’m letting go of unrealistic expectations about money, career, marriage, family and even faith.
I’m letting go of old mind sets, thinking and habits. I’m adopted some new ones.
I’m letting go of this present life and beginning to grab hold of the next.
And, I’m ok with that.”
So, what season might you be in?
How is the response thing going?
Is there a little struggling to let go?
What is it that you may need to let go of?
Need some advice?
Let me unassumingly offer words of wisdom stemming from a much higher and intelligent source than I- God’s word:
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, 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 keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”