There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Fall is in the air: the children have gone back to school, the leaves are beginning to change color, stores are full of pumpkin flavored items and we are all cheering on our favorite football teams. There is something special about autumn in Ohio. I remember as a child sitting on the school bus hoping that as we neared our farm that I would see smoke rising from the woods behind our house.
Smoke rising from the woods meant that my grandma, grandpa, Aunt Kathryn, and dad were in the woods felling trees, burning brush and preparing for the long winter ahead. Seeing the curls of smoke rising from the woods would send me running with excitement over the farm fields between the house and the woods. Working with my dad, aunt and grandparents always meant unconditional love and lots of laughter. If it was a really good day then dad would even let me use the chain saw.
It was on one of those crisp autumn days that I encountered a very comical scene. My grandma and Aunt Kathryn were almost doubled over in laughter. It did not take long to see what was causing their amusement. Somehow my dad and grandpa had managed to get the tractor stuck front to end between two trees. I can still hear my grandpa’s heavy German accent yelling the one word in German that still lingers in my vocabulary (much to my dismay). Grandpa and dad must have worked for hours trying to get that tractor unstuck before finally relenting and cutting down the tree in front of the tractor. It was a day which my grandma and Aunt Kathryn would never let them forget and a memory which still makes me chuckle.
I often reflect on that day when I am stuck in a frustrating situation. It reminds me that sometimes we have to cut out something in our lives before we can move forward. Often the things that I need to work on cutting out in my own life are self doubts and fear of change. Other times those items come in the form of bad habits such as over eating or using that “one German word” that still lingers on my vocabulary. Often it is jealousy, envy and pride which hold me back.
There is a season for all things in our lives and we must take the time to prepare ourselves for each new beginning by cutting away those things which hold us back. My prayer for each of you and our community is that we will learn and grow together in this particular season of change. May God bless each of you and Go Bucks!
White is a pastor at Chapel Hill Methodist Church