Growing Up

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

Campbells long agoWe here at the Campbell home are experiencing the winds of change. I think perhaps we have been for quite a while now, but I’ve been noticing it again lately.

Life moves quickly. In some ways, too quickly.

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1

Yeah. That’s the other thing that keeps coming up: Seasons.

We live in a climate where the weather reminds us of the benefit of the cycle of seasons. From the snows that bury all of life in a fluffy blanket of white powder, to the beauty of spring in all its colorful splendor, to the heat of summer that produces a bounty of edible sunshine, to the more subdued colorful beauty of fall where we enjoy the harvest, the cooler days, and well… pretty much everything about fall! (Yes, that is my favorite!)

And just like there is beauty in every season of weather and the repeating cycles that are evidence of our never-ending annual circuit around the sun, there is beauty in every season of life in our home.

Campbells nowThe scene above was from another time. Those boys are fourteen and eleven and a half years old now. A decade of life has been lived. I’d have to call it a full decade, though I know that we could not possibly have lived more life than anyone else. But since I am the one who lived it, I have all the memories. I know all that has passed here in those years.

I know of the lives gained. (Do you see all those amazing people in the second picture here?) I know of the losses. I know of the successes and failures. I know of the dreams that were not realized, and the ones that were. (Including ones we didn’t initiate.)

As I pondered the current seasons I saw under our roof, I also thought ahead to the seasons that are now not too far off.

Ian, our oldest, is definitely in a different season—and so, then, are we with him—and in less than two years, he’ll be sixteen years old. He’s already developing his own strengths, and likes, and even goals and dreams for his life. He’s begun the transition toward his own adult life, to be sure. With aspirations of God bringing him a wife, and buying a home, and raising a family… I considered that all of that could quite feasibly occur even in the next decade.

That’s astounding!

I was then time-shifted a decade ahead, pondering that somewhat distant season. Cam, the youngest, would be a teenager. Thirteen years old, and the youngest of four teenagers.

Wait. Let’s let that sink in.

Is it still sinking? Go ahead… I’ll give you a moment. Yes, four teenagers. At one time. Under one roof.

Alright. Moving on …

At the same time, Alex will be about to turn twenty-one years old; a significant age in our culture. (Though we Campbells are not very much bound to any cultural expectations or limitations attached to chronological age. But that’s for another post…)

And Ian? He’ll be twenty-four years old.

When I was twenty-four, I was becoming a father. To Ian. (My dad became a father to me when he was twenty-four.)

So, when Ian has children… that means I will be Grandpa! Wowee!

At this point in my fancying the future, I decided I should slow down and return to the current season. It was getting a little too wacky! Time to return to the present and enjoy the current season!

But that’s just it. That’s the greatest thing about the seasons: we’re not really in one place for too long.

It’s been a (full) short decade since the two tiny boys were the only ones scurrying around our home. (And around the country at that point!) So much life was fit into that short time span. So much more will be lived in the years to come.

And who’s to say what that next decade will bring?

I can dream of what will be, but I can not know it. I don’t know what will happen to us or in us over the next season of life, nor do I even know if we will remain in this world. There’s never any guarantee of that.

So we fondly remember and relive the seasons we’ve come through, and we can even dream of seasons that may be, but with no assurance of what will come, the best place we can be is right here, right now; living fully in the season(s) of life right now.

I feel like this is an ever-present theme in my life, and so on this blog. Don’t you?

Perhaps it’s just the season I am in.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but as I approach the completion of four decades of life on this planet, I do know that it goes fast, and it’s full of really good and also really hard things.

And through it all, Father is with us.

That is our hope, and the one constant we have through all of these seasons.

I actually don’t mind getting older. It’s so amazing to watch life unfold before me. First my own, and all that Jesus wants me to know along my own path. Then in my marriage to Jen, watching him work in her, and in us. And after that to watch the seasons of life develop in our six children. What a privilege to be part of it, and to watch, encourage, train, and cheer on those young and growing lives.

At least, for this season.

And maybe a few more.

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