Category Archives: Out Of My Mind
I am writing from my kitchen table this morning, drinking my morning coffee from a 35-year-old ceramic coffee mug I purchased at the Fort Gordon PX (post exchange) in Augusta Georgia while gazing out my patio door at the autumn landscape here in ‘Upstate’ New York. Both are vivid reminders of the realities of this thing we call – life.
The bright gold ring on the lip of the mug is dull and faded. In many places, it is no more – rubbed off by repeated cleanings over the years. The glazing is no longer pristine – it has that crackled look now. The logo is faded. What was once jet black is now gray. The orange of the US Army Signal Corps flags are now only a memory. all that remains is the dark green color on the fatigues of the caricature known as ‘half-watt’. It too, like the leaves on the trees in my back yard, is no longer the same green it was in a different season.
That’s how life is – it’s a repetitive on going cycle of transition from season to season. The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament portion of the Christian Bible writes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” . He then goes on to give a list of examples to illustrate what he means by that statement. One of the things he points out is that there is a ‘time to keep and a time to throw away’ (Eccl 3:6).
Nothing lasts forever. Even marriage by design has a predefined end – ’til death do us part’. Everything has a life-cycle. We are born and we will die, between those two events there are a variety of activities we must learn to manage appropriately and they too have their own seasons.
In the Spring season, we clean out the leftovers and make room for the ‘new’ things, we gather up our seed and we plant. In the Summer, we guard, nurture, and protect what we have planted. We water, fertilize, and prune what we have growing. Fall is harvest time! We gather the fruit of our labor and fill the storehouse in preparation for what lies ahead. And with Winter, everything dies. Winter is not a season of productivity – it is a season of repair, rebuilding, reviewing the successes and failures of the past year, and tweaking your plan for the future.
Not only must we learn to recognize the seasons of our life, we must learn to embrace them as well. What about you – are your activities in line with the season you are in right now? Are you sowing when you should be tending? Are you tending when it is clearly time to harvest? Are you ignoring the reality of being in a winter season frustrated with your career, your marriage, your friendships but unwilling to invest what is required to make the repairs?
I have purchased and been given literally dozens of coffee mugs over the years, very few of them remain in my cupboard. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it wasn’t that there was a problem with them. I am sure that someone somewhere is sitting this morning sipping their coffee from one of those mugs and it has become a real ‘keeper’ in their life.
I have a few people in my life who over the years have become ‘keepers’ too. They are the ones who always see my cup half-full when all I can see is my cup half-empty. They are the ones who help me live ‘in-season’.
Post a comment. I’d love to hear about what season you’re in and who the mugs are in your life.