Saying Goodbye to the Harvest of Fall

loggin_offContinued from here.

If I were a character in a novel, my fatal flaw would be my tendency to be overly loyal. What I mean by this is that I never want to let go of anything that has been meaningful to me. I tear up as I work through the last page of a Bible study. I want to continue hanging out with the parents of my kid’s friends from elementary school, even though he has transferred elsewhere. I want the friendship to stay close when the other person moves away. I do not easily adapt to the transition from a bountiful Fall to a pared down Winter.

And yet if we never step down, nobody else will have the opportunity to step up. If we don’t cease investing our time here, then there won’t be time available to invest there. My natural tendency is to hang on too long and too tightly, and my heart breaks as the people and fruit I deeply valued slip through my fingers. Holding on too tightly spoils the fruit.

Back when I was in therapy, my therapist told me a painful truth – seasons end. I didn’t want to hear this, but I was only hurting myself by fighting the inevitable. He said that few relationships last a lifetime. Most are seasonal, and just because they end doesn’t take away their value. I received the ending of a season – and particularly a relationship – as a rejection, but I learned that it’s not. Recognizing that most of where (and in whom) we invest our time will come to an end can actually help us better appreciate what we have while we have it. We learn to savor it because we know it’s temporary.

I am an “all in” or “all out” kind of person. Once I’m “all in,” I don’t ever want to be “out.” However, that mindset is harmful because it goes against God, who says, “See, I am doing a new thing!” I cannot go with God to the “new thing” if I’m still clinging to the “old thing.” The harvest must come to an end, and Winter is an important season of preparation for the “new thing” that God is planning.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace resting in a recliner over the words, “Loggin’ off.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]