When I taught high school seniors, one of the poems that we studied was Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18". Because the language of the poem was not easy to understand, I would list the seasons on the board and ask students to compare them to a person's life span.
Most of the students placed birth- 18 as the springtime of one's life and at the age of 24, my age was listed as summer. I remember the laughs that we had as students talked about the "old age" of their 40-something parents. As a person enjoying the summertime of life, I did not realize how close I was to the next season of my life.
A few weeks ago, I was quickly reminded of the diagram that was boldly displayed on my chalkboard that day. While speaking to the youth pastor's wife at church, she responded with "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" throughout the conversation. Feeling as if she was my peer, I touched her hand and told her that she did not have to call me ma'am.
Her answer reminded me that I was no longer in the summer season.
"Oh, yes ma'am, I do because I was taught to respect my elders."
She was the same age that I was when I began teaching. She was a young lady enjoying her summer season and I was a " 40-something older lady" from church.
Suddenly that image from Room #911 took on a different meaning. I have changed so much from those days at my alma mater, Clinton High School. I have learned valuable lessons and gained wisdom from painful experiences. I have taught students who have become successful teachers impacting lives in the same building in which I taught. I have seen the beauty of the budding trees and later watched those leaves turn radiant colors before falling to the ground. In all of this, I have known the God of each season, and He has remained constant although the seasons have not.
There are moments that I make statements to my children, and the moment that the words leave my mouth, I shudder because I sound like my parents. That is another reminder of this season.
Although seasons have been marked by age, we all face various seasons in our lives that have nothing to do with our age.
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:"
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV
What season is this for you? Is this your season to sow or your season to reap? Is this a season of joy or a season of sorrow for you?
Understand that God is with you and He has not forsaken or abandoned you during this season.
When we embrace the season that we are in, we are able to see clearly the lessons that we should learn in the season. More importantly than that, when we recognize someone who is in a difficult season, we will have the grace to encourage them.
The last two lines of Sonnet 18 show that no matter the season of life,we are creating a legacy.
Our greatest legacy is to live each day to please God and to bring glory to His name.