Perhaps it is the new year, or perhaps it is this morning's sermon topic. Either way, I am struck by how my life has gone through three distinct seasons, each of between 12 and 13 years in length, and how I am now in the midst of Season #4.
The first season, Feb 1965 - Aug 1977: Birth through the end of sixth grade. Nine houses, six towns (two of them twice), seven schools. For an only child, Season #1 was built on finding myself without the aid of long-term friends. I don't regret much of it, but it clearly was unique.
The second season, August 1977 - July 1990: Seventh grade through law school. One house in Nashville; two dorm rooms, two apartments, and one house in Waco; one diploma and two degrees. The years of my education and forging my Christian identity and early discipleship. The years of learning who and what I am. The years of developing friendships and love.
The third season, August 1990 - June 2003: The first job. Marriage. Three kids. One apartment. Building one house. Becoming who I am as a lawyer, Sunday School teacher, deacon, man. Seeing how adulthood springs, how some dreams die, how others are born. Deeper friendships. Stronger discipleship.
The fourth season, July 2003 - ???: The second job. New house, new town, new church. Raising my kids in a new place - they do not consider Tennessee to be home. Now starting them off in college. Seeing more dreams die. Feeling the effects of age. Writing. Finding more security in who I am. Wondering if that is all there is. Honing my discipleship. Cherishing friendships made in the first three seasons. Finding new friendships much harder to make.
I know this season will end. If my life continues in the pattern in which I have so far found myself, I can look for Season 4 to end in the summer of 2016 or so, about the time my youngest child graduates from high school. Will that be time for another move? Will this season last longer than the others? Will the next season call for me to stay in the same place?
For everything, there is a season. So far, these have been my seasons.