Sun hats and soccer snacks: the season switch

 In change

Sun hats and soccer snacks: the season switch Three soccer games each Saturday morning – that is going to take some getting used to. In between first games one and two, I look down to see my sun hat working as a clementine bowl … and then I realized, I was standing in a moment between seasons. A moment of sun hats and soccer snacks. The heat beat down, leaving a trail of summer sweat, while sidelined parents talked back-to-school business. It was a one-foot-in and one-foot-out kind of moment. Ever had one of those?

John Lewis says summer is, “The month of half summer, half autumn. Half sophistication, half barbarity.”

Well, only a few days later, rain cooled the hot earth. And here in Oregon, when rain starts, it sticks around for … well, most of the year. So, just like that, I retired my sun hat because fall ‘topped’ summer; and both feet joined together again, standing in the same spot (a puddle).  The seasons switched. The change happened. Of course, we’ll still have sunny days – but they’re now classified as fall’s sun vs summer’s sun.

My children are fantastic examples of change to me. They look forward to its mystery as if it’s magic. Going somewhere new, doing something new, becoming something new – they move through the change with trust in their leaders and a bouncy, forward step. Perhaps their adaptation comes easier because they’re so accustomed to newness? Everything’s relatively new to them in this new world and their new bodies.

On the other hand, the older I get, the more comfortable I become in my current state. The new stuff seems more like a 50/50 chance instead of a thrilling opportunity. I met two women both giving change a cheerful chance this week, and I felt inspired. They’re opening their hearts to possibilities of more, which would mean a major mindset change. I’m not sure if they’ll really take both feet into the same place, but they’re considering it … bravely.

So, I’m looking to these examples and aiming to welcome the idea of change instead of tensing up at it … to stand in between seasons and smile at recent lessons learned (the tough and the pleasant ones), and simultaneously smile at the many and myriad lessons to come. I want to joyfully appreciate and anticipate … and then I want to cheerfully give an all-in puddle jump.

At our house, our new season snapped into tight schedules, stacks of text books and new music in the air. Basically, it’s more work (and more difficult work at that). Initially, my heart felt like heels dragging. I didn’t want to let go of the slow and sacred summer I still yearned for (and never mastered). I didn’t want to replace glasses of lemonade with half-time clementines. But, its time. And when I want to fight against time for change the question swirls in my head, “What good is it to ‘kick against the pricks’?” (Acts 9:5)

Yes, change is surely for our good. It brings us closer to sophistication and further from barbarity … but only if both feet are in the same place (even if that place is a puddle).

Consider Lot’s wife. God commanded Lot to change …. He and his family needed to change locations. God told Lot to move from Sodom and Gomorrah, and the season of being surrounded with barbarity. We understand from the scriptures that they did make the change – but not immediately. It sounds like there was a bit of heel dragging … but the change did occur (and just in time!). On daybreak, the morning of their move, the Lord rained brimstone and fire upon those barbaric and evil cities.

The Lord’s next command for Lot and his family was, “Look not behind thee.” But this wasn’t just about looking back with eyes … it was about looking back with heart. It was about taking both feet, and decisively making the season switch – going all-in to the puddle in front of them.

We know what happens. Lot’s wife wasn’t even out of city limits when her heart began dragging heels, and she turned yearningly toward the past. She ‘looked back’ … and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Her looking back, stepping back, desiring back made it so she couldn’t look, step or desire any longer. Oh how her story can teach us about how to handle change.

“So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.” – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in a fantastic speech at BYU.

May we point our feet and our faith toward the future. Here’s to jumping all in! I’m hanging up the sun hat and stocking up on soccer snacks … Flipping off the flip-flops and pulling up my yellow, rubber goulashes. Welcome, fall! Welcome, change! Let’s move forward – toward Him.

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