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Seasons of God

POSTED: October 21, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Recently I was travelling in my home state of Arkansas. As I drove through the extravagant display of fall foliage, I decided to take the long way home.
Negotiating the twists and turns of the two lane mountain road, I realized that this trip was a perfect metaphor for life. I have travelled this road for most of the seasons of my life — as a young child, an eager teen, an over confident young adult, and now as a surprised but grateful senior citizen.
I took a moment to stop at the creek where my dad taught me to swim. I thought about the times in late winter and early spring when my mother and I would walk through the almost barren woods searching for dogwood saplings to plant in the yard.
Further down that stream, now decorated with the occasional brilliant autumn leaf, I remembered hot summer days with my family fishing and swimming in the creek.
I walked up the stone steps to the porch of our old family home knowing that in a few weeks, as they do every year, the hunters in our family will gather inside around a great cast iron stove, where they will cook, eat and exchange memories. They will also be making new memories with their children and grand children.
In the family cemetery, I stood at the foot of my father’s grave, wishing I could get his approval of decisions my brother and I had just made regarding the care of our mother.  The winter season of her life is taking its toll and the autumn season of my life has taken me by surprise.
Whether it was a whispered answer to a prayer, or the blessed gift of a mother who taught us to memorize Bible verses is not mine to know. But I watched blazing colors of the oak trees against the bright blue sky and found myself repeating verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, 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 for war, and a time for peace.”
I pray that each of us, in whatever season we are living, find peace in our hearts, our souls and our minds.

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