Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. [Psalm 139:16 (NIV)]
By living in Florida, we’ve escaped the polar vortex and winter’s ice and snow. Regardless of where we live, however, there’s no escaping the winter of our lives. When we roll out of bed with assorted aches, need our cheater specs to read the paper, become intimate friends with ibuprofen, know the day of the week from our pill boxes, and nervously compare our ages with those on the obituary page, it becomes painfully obvious that, while able to flee from winter’s frigid weather, there’s no dodging the winter season of life.
In spite of a few complaints, I’m reasonably content with my winter. I’d never want to give up the confidence, wisdom, peace and perspective that come in this end season of life. Nevertheless, I’m sorry to say farewell to the vitality, enthusiasm and freshness of spring; the beauty, growth and intensity of summer; and the productivity, abundance, and fulfillment of autumn. As rewarding as it is to see my children and grands develop and mature, it saddens me to see the toll those same years have taken on other people I know and love. Winter has been downright cruel to many of them. Sadly, some of those I loved didn’t even make it to this season of appreciated blessings. They never had the opportunity to sit quietly and read to a grand or grow old with the one they loved. There are gaps in my heart where they lived and my memories of them will never quite fill those holes. Nevertheless, I feel blessed to have made it this far.
We thank you, God, for the seasons of life. Help us recognize the beauty and joy of each one. Give us the wisdom and serenity to accept that time passes, changes take place, seasons are unpredictable, heartbreak happens, health is precarious, and farewells are unavoidable. Reconcile us to the transformations that occur in each of life’s seasons. May we always remember that, while everything has a season, there is no one season in which we’ll have everything.
Summer ends, and autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. [Hal Borland]