“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1
Sandy, my longtime friend and former work colleague, had always dreamed of having a swimming pool in her backyard, so eventually she and her husband saved up enough money to put one in. And of all the people I’ve ever known who have had backyard pools, myself included, I’ve never known anyone who enjoyed theirs more or made better use of it than Sandy and her husband. Every weekend during the summer they were either enjoying quiet afternoons alone, or watching their kids play in the water, or entertaining friends and neighbors in their backyard. During the warm months of the year their lives centered around that pool. Then one day Sandy announced that they were filling it in, covering it up. I was shocked at first, that is until she explained that the fun was over; they were done with it and ready to move on to other things.
The swimming pool story is so typical of the way Sandy operated when we worked together. When it came time to make changes, to do things differently such as introducing some type of new more efficient technology Sandy was always the one who would walk in one day and announce to all of us that from now on we’re doing it the new way – period! I loved that about her. She taught me better than anyone I know to realize that for everything there is a season, to enjoy the season while it lasts, understand it had a purpose, then let it go and move on.
My parents lived in the same house from the time I was two years old until several years after I was married with children of my own. My father and grandfather operated the same family business for sixty years. In the community where I grew up there were certain people in my life who could always be counted on to “be there”. There was a comfort in having that kind of stability. But then things changed. The family business was sold, my parents moved away, and some of those wonderful people began to die. Through the years I’ve come to realize those changes and losses did not destroy my world, instead they enriched it; for “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” For everyone of us there comes a time to cover up the pool. When it does, the best thing we can do is be thankful for the season and move on.