“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: - Eccl. 3:1
This verse has popped up in several places for me the past few weeks – in a book I have been reading, a celebration of life service I was able to share in, and in a blog post I read.
Everything is for a season; a season has both a beginning and an end. In order for a new season to begin, another season has to end. I have been reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s book Necessary Endings, in it he talks about how everything has an ending, and that endings are healthy for us in order to start something new – new habits, new careers, new opportunities, etc.
As we come to another “New Year”, it’s easy to think about doing something new, adding something to our routine, starting a new hobby or habit. But when we think about starting something new, how often do we think about bringing something else to an end? We all have a limited amount of time and energy. A lot of “new” things people start don’t last because they don’t have the capacity for another thing in their busy life or schedule. When we make a list of things to start, we should also make a list of things to stop. Make room.
More often than not, endings are more painful and require more energy than starting something new. It’s more difficult to stop a negative habit than to start it, or to end a harmful relationship than to begin. As you take time to reflect during this fast, ask yourself what season should be over, what needs to end. A habit, a pattern, a behavior, a relationship, maybe a career path…. Maybe there is something that you are giving up during this fast that needs to be given up for good.
Endings open the door for new beginnings!