We’re still trying to tear that house down—the one of which the city gave us an ultimatum, “Fix it up to code or tear it down.” Squatters had made such a mess of it we decided it must come down. It wasn’t feasible financially to do otherwise. Since the other board of directors of our nonprofit are busy with jobs, it has fallen to me to get it demolished with occasional help from them. Yesterday, I was back over there with a young man who was doing most of the physical work, with me cleaning up and salvaging wood products to use elsewhere. Do you know a person can’t find weathered wooden shingles any more? They are great for crafts, etc., but I’m getting off the point.
The point is that I could see the young man needed help lifting heavy segments of the roof, but I knew I could not help. Five years ago I would have been a very viable worker with him. It was like looking in the rear-view mirror on a past season. I am entering a new season. I’m learning not to grieve over what is no more, but to embrace what I can do. Each season has its purpose and its beauty. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-4:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear 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…
Thankfully, the encouragement of that insight came to me today when I received a phone call from my CPA (Certified Public Accountant). I had given her a sample budget to look over I had made for a grant proposal. She said it was very good—she would even hire me out! I knew that was a compliment, and shared it with my husband.
“Honey, I’ve known you can make much more money setting in front of your computer than you ever can down there tearing down houses,” he said. I would agree with his assessment if I could change his words to mean “influence or benefit” as my focus is not so much making money as it is in bringing positive change in people’s lives. If I was physically able to tear down houses, I would probably still be doing it. Maybe the Lord has to nudge us into our new seasons.
Looking back, I just wished I had not mixed my seasons up so much. When others were going to college, I was living life. I made mistakes. When I finally finished college I had more wisdom than the average young students in my classes, but not as much time to create a career. I have spent a good deal of time rebuilding my life, and I have found all seasons are good for laughing and dancing. I also know all seasons are productive for the kingdom’s work, and length of days isn’t an indicator of usefulness, value or productivity. By following His guidance much can be accomplished. We just have to open our eyes to the seasons and be willing to change along with the leaves on the trees.