Growing Through the Seasons of Life

"Our lives are a journey. As we move forward, we will not only figuratively experience the geography of life: the exhilaration of high mountains, the tranquility of calm meadows, the isolation of treacherous canyons, but we will also experience the seasons of life: the hope of spring, the abundance of summer, the harvest of autumn, and yes, the darkness and depression of winter.” 
--Seth Adam Smith

While dining in a restaurant recently, I noticed a cute, little 5-year-old girl looking at me a few feet away. She was smiling, playing cheerfully with her Mom who was stroking her cheeks and making funny faces. I smiled back at her and waved my hand.

I enjoyed the moment. With wide-eyed wonderment. But also with a soft touch of memory of my youngest daughter, Angel, at that age. And how I wished I could bring back the season that has passed me by!

I think it's natural to remember sweet times in our lives with longing. Like me thinking of my daughter when she was once a little girl. Yet, as King Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes, "There is a time for everything under the heavens."

A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot. A time for war and a time for peace. A time to work and a time to rest. In all the seasons of our lives, the self is in a journey of development in the limited time and opportunity given to us.

A patient once told me, "Doc, my life is over. I lost my job. I lost my family. I want to die." He lost energy and purpose for waking up in the mornings any longer. His emotions were aggressively sabotaging and dictating on his thoughts and body reactions. 

Painful though it may be, imagine him without the "gift" of this season of his life? Only when he learns to see that this was just a phase and that life is a continuum will he be able to move beyond his present pain and rebuild to a better life. 

Without a season of pain, there would be no healing. Without the sorrow, there would be no joy. That's exactly where lasting, authentic beauty comes in. It comes in through the fruit of the seasons passing by.