Pastor Norma's Journal of Wisdom

Time and the Seasons


Life is a collection of days…

…Happy days and sad days… opportunities and disappointments… ups and downs and all-arounds. It is filled with laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, living and dying.

Life is so daily! It is what happens while we make other plans.

Life is birth and death, working and playing, sickness and health, good times and bad times… days of struggles and trials and tests and of lean times and fruitful times. But there are great days of rewards and achievements, of goodness and blessing and prosperity.

All of this to say that life is filled with every emotion you can imagine. It is made up of every kind of experiences you can imagine and some you can’t imagine.

Four times in my life I had the joy of giving birth to four sons: Glen, David, Mark, and Greg. The first time I saw each one, as I held them (him) so close to my heart, I had dreams from him (them). I wanted the best for him. I wanted him to live well and long, to discover who he was and develop his skills and talents so he would be fulfilled and become a man of strength and integrity— a good man with strong morals, and courage to face whatever life brought to him.

That was many years ago for each one… I am old… I’ve watched as your Dad has lived life. It hasn’t been easy to see all that each one has had to endure as he faced each day.

There have been many days of joy and many days of sorrow.

But that’s life in the days of our lives. And you are and will experience all of it in your living.

Live not one’s life as though one had a thousand years, but live each day as the last.

— Marchu Aurelius Antoninus

On getting older, wiser…

Hopefully as we grow older we also become wiser.

Growing wiser is taking the knowledge we gain and applying it in our lives. It’s been said that experience is the best teacher.

Wisdom is taking what we can from each experience and determine how it has affected us. No matter how old we get we are still learning and growing and gaining wisdom. We never arrive at a pinnacle of wisdom. Growing old doesn’t mean I should become a “couch potato” and just get stagnant.

All of my life I have enjoyed learning. I enjoy facing the challenges that keep me growing and gaining knowledge and wisdom. Every day there are opportunities to take advantage of and experiences to learn from.

Wisdom is gained through being alert and observant. It is gained by looking outside of yourself and continuing to explore. I am amazed at the opportunities I’ve had since I turned 60 to go exploring. When I was 64 I got my passport for the first time… and I’ve been to China, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hungary, and Romania. I’ve been to London and I’ve seen Paris from an airplane. At 68 Grandpa went to Africa (Kampala, Uganda), his first time with a passport. One of our greatest blessings was exploring Budapest and Romania together, both of us gaining knowledge and understanding and wisdom from it. Don’t just grow old… grow wise with growing old.

Time ripens all things, no man is born wise.

— Miguel de Cervantes

The value of time…

Time can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Time can fly or it can drag.

It’s important to just stop now and then to reflect on what is taking our time. How many times do we say, “I don’t have time” or “I need to make time”?

It’s interesting that “time” never changes… there will always be 24 hours in a day… made up of seconds and minutes. And it’s up to me what I do with it. I can use it to full advantage or I can waste it.

Sometimes I need to sit down and reflet on what I’m doing with my time. I need to evaluate what is valuable— what is of benefit and what is not.

Where are my priorities? What changes do I need to make? Where is my focus? Am I working toward my goals or has “busy-ness” left them lying in the dust?

Periodically (perhaps once every 3 months or so) take a “time out”… get alone and reevaluate your life. Ask yourself: am I giving value to my own life, as well as others. Am I truly living or just existing?

It is so easy to let our days be filled with the mundane and become ho-hum. It is also so easy to become so self-focused we begin to thing the whole world revolves around me. We need to keep our focus well rounded— on God first, then on ourselves and then on others.

Each day can be an exercise to bless and touch others and be a dispenser for valuable time, not a hoarder of fruitless days.

We work not to produce but to give value to time.

— Eugene Delacroix

On the seasons of our lives…

I like to think of life in terms of the four seasons… spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Birth to 20 is like spring… everything is fresh and coming to life, bursting and growing. With spring comes exhilaration, hope and expectation. It is a time of preparation of the soil of our lives, a time of planning and sowing. It is the most “alive and vibrant” time of our life, exploring and carefree.

20 to 40 is the summer of our lives. It is watching and experiencing the productivity of what was invested in “spring”. We are in “full bloom”. It is a time of much activity, productive and full of life. It is tending and nurturing what we have planted and sown. The days are mostly filled with sunshine, but there are ravaging storms as well— hurricanes and tornados, etc. Sometimes the storms that come into our lives do great damage and cause destruction, but they only destroy what was weak and not established on a firm foundation. There are many days of sunshine after the storm so we can rebuild and put into practice what we learned through the storm. I need a firmer foundation, stronger walls and beams and trusses, etc.

40 to 60 is the autumn of our lives; a time of abundant harvest; a time of reaping and gathering in; the time to store and preserve for the winter months ahead. We watch the leaves begin to fall. Some fruit begins to die on the vine as the “vine” settles down from its productive time. Even though the leaves begin to fall, the tree stands strong and tall, prepared to face the winter. Autumn is still a very productive time, and a very fruitful time; it is also an enjoyable time of reaping the benefits of your labors in the spring and summer.

Winter is the time between 60 and the end of your life on earth. You are still very much alive but it is a time of reflection— the time to rest and enjoy the peace and serenity of this dormant time. It is a time to enjoy and benefit from all the years of work and labor and vital productivity.

Grandpa and I are just in the beginning of our winter season. It is a delightful time for us. It is fun for us to watch each one of you experience the season you are in. It is a blessing to slow down and adjust to a slower pace, to take each day as it comes and live it to the fullest.

It’s funny, in a way, because we are as busy as ever. The difference is that we don’t feel pressured to “produce”. We can be more relaxed in what we are doing. It’s fun for us to reflect on the other seasons of our lives.

We’ve failed many times. We’ve weathered many storms. We’ve grown and matured and we look at life a lot differently than we did in the past.

Life is not meant to be a rat race to get through as fast as we can. As the saying goes, “Slow down!” Take time to smell the wonderful aromas and fragrances of each season.

The most important thing to remember is to live each season to its fullest.

Don’t waste your time thinking about what might have been, or what might happen in the next season.

Take each day, and only that day, and the season will come and the season will go, but they will blend into one another. Your life will become one beautiful season filled with the best and the worst, but will also be a fruitful, productive life, lived to the fullest.

How sad would be December if we had no knowledge of spring.

— Edwin Teale

Above all… don’t waste your sorrows. Use them as opportunities to learn and grow and then be willing to share them with others and help them through the difficult times they are working and growing through.

 

Happiness   |   Love is…