A few days ago when I woke up it was 60 degrees, which is unusual given that it’s still the dog days of summer in Atlanta. As I buckled the girls into their carseats on this cool morning, I thought to myself, man it feels like autumn. And then I got lost thinking about what the return of fall meant: college football on Saturdays, memories of high school football on brisk Friday nights, sweaters, leaves changing colors, and of course, more football (can you tell I grew up in the south?). Just in that moment I recognized the implications of the season changing, and I embraced it. I’m ready for summer to end, it’s been a great one with lots of adventure and plenty of challenge, but autumn is actually my favorite season of the year.
Because life is full of so many changes, the key is understanding how to adapt as seasons change. Otherwise you’ll catch yourself consistently missing precious moments. One of my favorite scriptures is the passage in Ecclesiastes 3 where Solomon, reportedly the wisest man who ever lived gives a long soliloquy to the evidence of seasons in life. He begins by saying that for everything in life there’s a season, the trick is knowing which one you’re in and learning how to embrace it.
But how do you embrace season change when you’re unsure of what’s next? As I write this, my wife is 9 months pregnant with our third child. The past few days we had a scare where she was in a car accident and we had to stay overnight in the hospital to monitor mommy and baby. Thank God everything is well and we were released yesterday afternoon, but the entire experience reminded me just how unprepared I was for the next stage of life. Nothing in the baby’s room is finished. I didn’t have the baby carseat in the van yet. I didn’t even have our go-bags in the car (they’d been sitting by the door for days waiting for me to put them in the car). Not to mention that neither of us have adequately prepared yet to miss significant work time (something I’ve got to be on top of as a dad, because paternity leave seems to be a joke for many employers). And yet, when the time came, we adapted. Family and friends pitched in a moment of crisis as we transitioned to the hospital, grandma taking care of the kids, a friend helping me retrieve my damaged vehicle and go-bags from the house, another friend meeting us at the hospital to offer support. My manager and team were ultra supportive, offering to conduct meetings on my behalf, checking in regularly on my wife’s progress. All during this process, I kept seeing these little babies in the hospital wondering, is this going to be me today? Am I ready for this?
It just goes to show you that despite our level of preparation for season change, life happens, and if we pay attention, we’ll notice that it’s currently happening. The best thing we can do is fully lean into it, and get whatever it is we’re supposed to get out of this season. Remember that this stage is only a season with a finite time period. Soon, the chill of winter will be upon us, followed by the hope of spring and then again the thrill of summer before autumn winds blow. Ready or not, here the next season comes.