Meditations by John Dean

Monday, April 2, 2012

Locked in a Season

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 KJV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; ...

Because life is made up of consecutive seasons, most folks have at least a surface understanding of what this scripture means. A season is a short period of time in one’s life that will eventually end and become only a memory. It is not uncommon for one to look back on a special season of their life and wish they could relive it. Then there are other folks who would not want to go back and relive a minute of any of their past seasons.

Each season is important because it has the necessary lessons to prepare us for the challenges of our upcoming season. Because some lessons are harder to learn than others, it is always a blessing if the season is short so we can learn that lesson and move on.

When we are locked into a season and cannot move, it means that our mental growth is stunted in some way.

Sometimes it is easy to tell when a person is locked in a past season. When an older woman still wears her hair the same way she did in her glory days in school, it is because she cannot grow out of that season. When an older man still dresses the same way he did when he was in his glory days in school, it is because he is also incapable of growing out of that season.

What I seem to notice more than anything else these days is when a parent refuses to allow their children to grow out of their baby season. It is natural for every loving parent to remember each detail of the first years of their babies. However, when a parent refuses to leave the baby season and move on, then they could possibly rob that child of the nurturing that is needed for its further development.

Over the years I have observed several parents who did not seem capable of turning loose of their child’s baby season, even when the child was grown. This type of behavior seems to be more prevalent with mothers than with fathers. However, I have also seen fathers with the same behavior.

I knew a father who would hold his grown child in his lap at night and rock him back and forth as if he was a baby. Neither the father nor the son seemed to be embarrassed, even though the son was almost as big as the father.

The fact is, our past seasons must die and take their place as a treasure in our memory bank so we can embrace the upcoming season. Holding a grown son may have brought some sort of pleasure to this father, but it does nothing for building the maturity that is needed as the son moves on in life.

I suppose my own experience would be the opposite of the story I just told since I do not recall ever being held or affirmed. Neither of these extreme are preferred. However, I believe my experience prepared me more for the challenges of life for which I am eternally thankful.

Help us to embrace the times and seasons with great expectation so that each will produce its own benefits. Our desire is to mature and gain wisdom with each day in each season. Lord, help us not to get stuck in a time period because we feel that we will lose something by moving on.

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