Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFLECTION (10/10/19)
- TITLE: Season's Passed
By Karlene Jacobsen
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I couldn’t get them out of my heart if I wanted to. And I didn’t. Want to, that is.
But I knew it was time. Words from years ago fluttered into my thoughts. “Seasons come. Seasons go. New memories will form as you allow the old and dear to make room.”
I looked over and could see the row of faces I’d grown to love over the years. I didn’t want to let go. Change was as uncomfortable—to me—as hugging a porcupine; so, I avoided it as much as possible.
This time, though, I realized I couldn’t put it off any longer. Each face I saw, I embroidered into the fabric of my memory, hoping it wouldn’t fray in the years to come. I prayed for each one as I recalled how they’d grown into specific places of my heart. The temptation to reach back into the past and hold tightly to what became fierce. As uncomfortable as any change was, relinquishing my grip on history was harder still.
Then reminded of Paul’s exhortation that we forget “those things which are behind and reach(ing) forward to those things which are ahead …” (1), and Isaiah’s words not to “remember the former things, nor consider the things of old” (2), which I believe he said because of the propensity of people to hold on when they should let go. I know I am like that, and I risk missing out on the promise from God that followed, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth … I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert …” (3)
If I could, I’d take a snapshot of each memory and place it in a scrapbook with the story of our time together, like the canoe trip down the Au Sable River that damp, gray October day, while Mom watched the babies. We couldn’t keep the boat upright. We carried it down the river more than floated in it. I don’t think we got rid of the chill in our bones for weeks after that. Tahquamenon Falls was gorgeous, but the days leading to our visit would always serve as a reminder that God cares about the details.
We’d saved the entire year for our 21-day excursion around the Great Lakes. That summer, news flashed daily about wildfires in Newberry, Michigan. Plenty of lightning and too little rain kept this one smoldering. Before going, I’d prayed, asking God to send rain. Once we finished setting up camp at Tahquamenon Falls River Mouth, I heard the challenge in the back of my mind: “Are you going to ask for rain and remain uncovered?” –We’d left the fly off the tent so we could see the stars. That night—or I should say early morning—I was awakened by a clap of thunder, followed by heavy rain. The sun shone during the day, and it rained at night, during our entire 7-day stay.
I paused right there as I realized if I wanted to see the Lord continue to show His strength; if I would like to hold onto His gifts for tomorrow; if I am eager to walk into the “promised land” He’d set before me, I must relinquish my grip on what once was.
The season’s passed. A new season has begun, and I (we) are invited to take joy in its beauty.
1. Philippians 3:13
2. Isaiah 43:18
3. Isaiah 43:19
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