Monday, June 23, 2014

Seasons and Wishful Thinking

I listened to Dr. Kevin Elko's "Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration" this morning, and the title was "Seasons". In case you don't know who Elko is, he's the sports psychologist Nick Saban relies on to help maintain the "Process" at Alabama. If you don't know what that is, well....go watch the World Cup.

Anyway, Elko says our lives go through seasons, and many of our worst moments (depression and doubts, for example) happen when we are actively resisting the changes of life-seasons. He goes on to say we can tell when our seasons change when we realize we no longer have the grace we once had for that situation. In other words, time has moved on, we haven't moved on in our minds and hearts, but everyone else can tell we no longer fit where we've been.

Meanwhile, last week, my good buddy John Allan Clark wrote a column for the Greensboro Watchman about wishful thinking. In it, he says that him wishing that his porch ceiling fan worked was a good analogy for much of our experience in the Black Belt of Alabama; instead of doing the work ourselves, we just sit around and wish things were better. I told John Allan I liked his column. He did his usual aww-shucks routine, but I hope he knows how sincerely I appreciate his words.

Change is scary, and as our seasons change, we have all sorts of reactions. Sometimes we wish for things to change and so we do nothing, as if that ceiling-fan repairman in the sky might come down and set our blades to turning in the right way again, with power and ease. Sometimes, we refuse to accept that our time has passed in a certain situation and we linger there, awkwardly clinging to what we have known.

Our seasons change nonetheless. We see the cycle of birth, life, and death. We watch the summer heat fade to autumn, then see the winter come before spring warmth gives us a hint of the next summer. And so it goes, yet so often we fight change. We hold onto the "what might be" or the "this situation has so much potential" or the "why can't it just be this way forever?" or the "maybe one day again". And, meanwhile, we forget to be where we really are, and we neglect appreciating what really is. We live in fears or hopes of what could be and in memories or regrets of what once was. What a waste. Today's season is good enough. It's really all we have.


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