Holding on & Letting Go as the Seasons Change

Seasons are changing here.  I love the cooler weather and the beginnings of splashes of color on the trees.  Soon enough, we’ll winterize the pool, pick apples, and harvest the last of the produce from the garden.

Snow and ice at Horsethief Falls, Colorado

There are also changing seasons across the world.  I, along with many others, have watched Queen Elizabeth’s passing and related activities with interest.  (It’s said that about 4-5 million people heard the gospel while watching the funeral.)

Spring tulips in Major's Hill Park, Ottawa, Canada
Spring tulips in Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa, Canada

And then of course, there are personal changes of seasons.  “Hold on just a little bit longer” seems to be the name of my game right now, and so I hold onto Jesus and keep pressing on for the prize, even if I’m still not sure what the next season will look like.

Sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina
Sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

The questions I’m asking myself right now center around how to smoothly and successfully change from one season to the next.  What do you hold onto in the end of a season?  What do you let go of?  What do you hold onto until the very end, despite changing seasons?

Autumn reflections in Black Creek, New York
Autumn reflections in Black Creek, New York

Summer lives on in our yard into the fall because the pool is still open.  We still swim on warmer days, even though the season itself has changed.  There are things that you need to carry to the verge of or even slightly into the next season – things that you must refuse to give up until God says, “Lay it down now, good and faithful servant.”

Snowy Mt. Hood, Oregon
Snowy Mt. Hood, Oregon

The last act before the queen’s coffin was lowered into the crypt was to lay her standard on it.  To give up the standard too early is to remove from the queen the honor she is due; to remove the identity before its proper time; to remove from the people that last vestige of hope that they have relied on for seventy years.  To let go of some things before entering the new season is to strip away the identity of God and His purpose in your life; to remove hope and the things that others (and you!) need to transition.

Wildflower at Monument Rocks, Kansas
Wildflower at Monument Rocks, Kansas

But there is a time and a place to lay aside the old and to receive the new.  There are things that must be put aside because you cannot change seasons without doing so.  If the queen was buried with her crown, scepter, and orb, Charles could never receive them to rule and to reign; to be charged by God and the people to reign well.  They were removed from her just before the standard was laid on her coffin so that the seasons might change in their proper time.  There are things to give up – to remove – when the time is right.  The three objects will be given to Charles at his coronation.  Yes, there is a time in between – when the last season is laid aside and the new one is taken up.  A time of transition, when the pool cools off and yet it’s still sometimes warm enough to swim.

Swimming in Lake Mead at Echo Bay, Nevada
Swimming in Lake Mead at Echo Bay, Nevada

There are things to carry from one season to another; things that you will never give up, at least for the next season or two.  I keep your camera from one season to the next because there is always something beautiful to photograph.  King Charles still has his military titles and will not give them up to accept the kingship; that is something he will carry from one season to the next.

Autumn leaves on a bridge near Willowwood Arboretum, New Jersey
Autumn leaves on a bridge near Willowwood Arboretum, New Jersey

The trees shed their leaves in the changing of the season.  They do it beautifully, with dashing colors and pageantry, making the yard a mess, but saving the trees from the weight of winter’s snow.  They know they must throw it off at the right time, before they change seasons, yet keep the sap of life alive by thrusting it down into their roots until spring.

A skier on St. Mary's Glacier, Colorado
A skier on St. Mary’s Glacier, Colorado

I can carry joy into the next season.  I can carry faith into the next season.  Specific things will need to be cast off – everything that hinders (Hebrews 1:1).  But a relationship with God is life-sap that transcends the seasons.  You can go through different life circumstances, job titles, mental and emotional states, and even churches and ministries, but God stays steady.

Icebergs in Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Icebergs in Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

I pray that you will know what to cast off in preparation for the next season; what to hold onto through the transition; and what to carry into the next season.  The latter, I pray that you hold onto it with confidence, knowing that God has a plan a purpose for it not just now but also down the road.