Today as I look out into this January scenery, I see the snow lightly settling to the surface of the earth and it reminds me that winter is still here, but it will soon disappear within the next two months when February and March come and go. Living in the cold climate of Minnesota helps me to not take for granted the change of seasons. The rains of spring and the warmth of summer will soon be upon us, leaving behind the freezing temperatures of winter.
These climate changes remind me of the seasons of our lives. First, spring with all it’s newness and excitement, and next comes summer, and with it brings growth, happiness and love. In the fall of our lives we begin to look back more and we find ourselves being introspective of our pasts, we endeavor to make small changes that allow for the comforts of our individual futures. In the winter of our lives we see the flurry of activities that come and go around us. At times we feel a little bit left behind by life, and we long for the days when we also were apart of the busyness of the activities that we now see. And yet, as we look out our windows we feel comfort in the fact that we worked hard all our lives and can know that we too contributed to the benefit of many in our individual walks of life.
As we near the end of our lives, we wonder what our next life will offer us and what it will be like to be reunited with those that have gone on before us. We slowly let go of the fact that we are not going to live forever and that we, as with all life, will cease to exist as we return to the earth from which we came.
This is the scenario that many in life face as they go through the changes of their lives. Perhaps though, a different way can be seen. A person does not have to resign oneself to following the same paths of others. Is there a different course that we can take?
In looking at people we see a multitude of individuals in different phases of their lives. Most people resign themselves to following the same paths that others have taken before them. But is there a different way.
A short time ago my daughter Abby, went to the doctor with Anne. We were concerned because Abby was having a low grade fever that just didn’t seem to disappear. At different times she would complain of her jaw hurting along with that of her ear. We had gone to the doctor previously and it looked like she had earwax buildup in one ear. At that time the nurse irrigated her ear the best she could and the doctor advised us to put liquid earwax remover in her ears regularly. We were diligent in following through with the doctor’s directives, but as stated previously, she slowly showed signs of a deeper problem. Abby had previously had a cold, but as stated before, her temperature seemed to linger on. We made an appointment for Abby to see the doctor and upon arriving at his office, the doctor observed no reduction in the earwax buildup. The nurse used 3 pints of earwax flush and at that point she spotted something very unexpected. Something was lodged in her ear. Using more earwax flush, they were able to loosen the object. Using a special spoon instrument, they were able to pull it from her ear canal. It turned out to be a popcorn kernel that was there for some time since it was black in appearance. I am not sure how it got there accept that I do remember that Abby was watching cartoons one day about a year and half ago and as I was walking by, I noticed that she was putting something in her ear, it turned out to be a popcorn kernel. Upon removing the kernel, I asked her not to do that with the added concern that it could cause her to lose her hearing. When removing the first kernel, little did I know, I wasn’t removing all the popcorn kernels. I never thought anything of it until recently when the doctor removed the remaining kernel of popcorn from her ear.
Later, gradual changes took place that seemed related to Abby’s popcorn problem. Abby did not have to have the computer sound so loud; she didn’t ask us to repeat things so much and of course, her jaw stopped hurting, as well as her low grade fever disappeared. In retrospect, perhaps Abby thought in her little heart that kernels come from ears of corn and the unpopped kernels should go back to the ear.
Isaiah 2:3 talks about Jesus who is coming to the world, “ He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” “. . . teach us his ways,” what does that mean? Christ does not force us to follow him, he asks us to. Are we missing out on a major part of our walk with our Lord? Do we take time to listen to Jesus’ voice. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus is saying to the Christians at the church of Laodicea, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Do we take a pause in our prayers to just sit and listen to Jesus speaking to us? I know that too often I am thanking Jesus, and while at the same time, putting requests before him, but not listening as I should. I know for myself, I need to take time to get to know him more by hearing what Jesus has to say. A friendship built on one person always talking does not grow and mature as it should. It takes both individuals sharing and listening to one another for a friendship to develop. John 10:3 states that “ the sheep listen to his voice.”