Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jack Bauer would say, "A time for peace and a time for war"!

In 1962, Pete Seeger recorded the song, “Turn, Turn, Turn” (which was adapted entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible). The Bible (and much later, the song) posits that there is a time and place for everything; laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, and even war and peace. What I have always pulled away from those words is that life is constantly changing and in transition.

For our family, today is no different. Our son started preschool this year. Granted, this is not school and he is only going three days a week, but it’s another step and another stage in the development of our oldest child. As much as we want to keep him at this cute and sweet age, we know he is growing and maturing. We are excited to watch him grow and learn, but so sad to see him become independent (as a parent, it’s always nice to be needed, right?) A time to rejoice and a time to weep.

Our family also just lost a good friend and a terrific music minister to a job in a different city. While I am not the most musically inclined individual (I once was asked to ‘not sing’ in a choir, that’s a story for another column), he is a gifted leader and inspiring musician (or at least I am told by my much more musically inclined wife). We are happy for him and his family to be blessed with such a great opportunity, but disappointed to see them move away. A time to dance and a time to mourn.

Our neighborhood is suffering a loss as our immediate next door neighbors are moving to a new home. You know that old rule about fences making good neighbors? Well, our neighbors have been the exception to that rule. We’ve known them in one way or another since my wife’s freshmen year in college, we’ve shared yard equipment and cups of sugar, and our kids love each other. A time to keep and a time to lose.

My favorite television show recently came to an end. Did I just compare major phases and stages of my family’s growth and development to the cancellation of a TV show? Yes, I did, and I don’t apologize, I am man enough to admit, I love Jack Bauer.

This season of change has made me ask, what would Jack Bauer do in this situation? I think he’d probably say, “There is a time for peace and a time for war.” But that just doesn’t seem to fit this column. So I am going to go with what I believe these many transitions offer our family (sorry Jack, I am going solo on this one). I believe that these transitions offer us an opportunity to grow. They offer us an opportunity to learn and become wiser. And while we will miss our friends and neighbors, our lazy days with no school (and our favorite television shows), the truth is we’ll be stronger because of this season of our lives. A time to cast away stones and gather new stones.

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