A Season for Everything
“For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
-Ecclesiastes 3:1 NRSV
The picture above is a bookshelf that my oldest daughter Ardyn and I built 4 years ago. She has never understood the word “limitations” and came to me one day wanting to build a bookshelf for her collectibles to sit upon. Being only 9-10 years old at the time, my immediate assumption was that I would do all the work, but being a young woman, I also wanted to make sure no one in the world told her she wasn’t cut out for construction.
I happened to have a few spare pieces of wood lying around, so we did some math, made some measurements, cut the wood, added paint and the masterpiece you see above was built. One of my favorite pictures of Ardyn is of her proudly holding her creation, and it still lives in my mind as one of the best days I’ve spent with her.
Just a few days ago, my now 14-year-old high schooler was evaluating what in her room needed to go for her “new” aesthetic, and our bookshelf didn’t pass muster. It wasn’t hard to unscrew from the wall, throw up some spackle, and eventually we’ll paint over the spots like our bookshelf never existed.
Getting rid of this was hard. But seeing how my daughter is growing into a confident, intelligent, fiercely independent young woman with a mind to decide makes me proud. Seeing her live into new phases of her life and tackle new challenges makes me happy.
Knowing that there will be many more transitions and differences as she grows is hard to think about. But knowing that each transition is a new opportunity for her to shine and experience all that God has for her…that is pretty awesome.
Ecclesiastes is often seen as a depressing book. When you express the idea that “all is vanity and meaningless” more than a few times, I suppose you earn that reputation. But despair isn’t the theme of the book.
It’s about Focus.
The author has tried everything, done everything, tasted everything, and more, and has found nothing to be lasting eternally except for God and God’s ways. People will come and go, things will come and go, interests will come and go, and the only way to truly be happy and stay happy is to focus on the one thing that never goes away: God.
Creekwood has been through a season of transition lately, and it’s only one in a long line of transitions that churches tend to experience in the modern age. Sometimes there are individuals who move out of state or decide to worship somewhere else. Sometimes a 13-year staff member decides it’s time for a different challenge. Sometimes it’s a new form of governance.
When transitions happen, it is natural to feel loss and grief. It’s even natural to say “what are we going to do?” but Ecclesiastes will tell us: “Focus.”
There is a season to everything.
Focus on the one who doesn’t change, keep doing God’s work and will, and everything will turn out alright.
I could wish us well in this new season in the life of Creekwood, but I can estimate it won’t be the last “new” season Creekwood goes through. While we will do everything we can to create a thriving, stable atmosphere of Invitation, Exploration, Compassion, and Generosity, I know for certain that the only stability is the certainty found through Christ.
I’ll leave you with one more scripture to meditate upon:
Colossians 3:2 – “Focus on things that are from above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”