Tuesday, February 05, 2008

How do You Measure a Year?

Solomon, who feared fleeting pleasure and persistent pain coined the Hebrew "gam zeh ya’avor", meaning "this too shall pass". Life passes through seasons. As sure as a season is, is that it will pass. You have seasons, your kids have theirs, and your family has its own. Their entangled dance of destiny make us unique and connected.

My family season changed from Elk Creek Community Church to a new church and its new anticipations and new problems. The change was painful, but that doesn't equate to error. Seasons do change; that's the given.

There are two qualities of seasons that, if you remember them, will guard you through life.

1. All seasons pass. This is a bummer when you are happy, but what joy when you are not. It encourages you to maximize special moments and endure the awful. But, most of all, it reminds you that whatever you have today must pass tomorrow. So, engage today, prepare for tomorrow, and expect the change.

What does this mean? Well, it means parents die. It means jobs change. It means homes move. It means relationships grow (and diminish). It means children will grow up. We will get sick; approach death. And, it means you just might change churches. Simply, the qualities that define today will be different tomorrow.

What does this NOT mean? Well, God is no season and His salvation does not change. Our value and purpose never change. It is life's incidentals that change. I am here for God's will - at this moment I serve it like this, and my life is defined like this. The big picture? Still the same; the same again tomorrow.

2. This is so very important: All seasons pass. What? A repeat? Yes, but to a different end. Because things change, because states pass, and because what we have today will someday be gone, we MUST remember today.

In college, semesters measured time. I knew when I met people, where I lived, my age, who I loved - everything based on semesters. After college, I struggled to categorize time. Marriage helped. Children helped. But whatever your pneumonic, you must separate months, years, and seasons. Don't lose experience to incoherent recollection.

What does this mean? Do you measure a year in love? Fine. Do you measure it in seconds? Not likely. Whatever you do - you need to raise a flag, so you can thumb through your memories with deeper meaning and value. How will you remember your first kiss? Their first step? That first reward? Somehow, measure the moment.

What does this not mean? Good question - and nice parallelism to the previous section, too. It simply can't mean you live in the past. Your wonder years MUST be in your future. Why? Because experience is the catalyst of wisdom, which is a major donor to happiness. The past is remembered - the future is anticipated.

The blog title is from Rent. You probably already know that. The song is powerful - though I don't care for the musical. The point is important - whatever you use to categorize life, make it meaningful. Don't say "back when I made $$ a year" but "back when I was falling in love with you". Choose your Dewey Decimal System wisely.

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