“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I just learned that Lisa, a good friend of mine from high school, founded the marketing firm my institution has been working with for three years. I had no idea! How did I find out?
From her obituary.
I learned so much about my former classmate, with whom I had lost touch decades earlier, after another member of our class posted a tribute to her. I learned that she was brilliant, feisty, fun loving and extremely creative. I learned we both were very active in our respective churches. I learned our careers followed similar paths, but hundreds of miles apart. And I learned she never let ovarian cancer get the best of her.
Oh…the conversations we could have had! If only I had known.
How many times do we say that to ourselves: If only…?
God never intended for us to live with regret. Ecclesiastes 3 speaks to that. We have different seasons in our lives. A time to lead Bible School, a time to spend time with our own family. A time to work, a time to retire. A time to mourn, a time to rejoice. A time to participate in activities, a time to remember that participation. A time to host Sweet Monday, a time to let someone else host. A time for old friends, a time for new.
Right now, I am grappling with the last item. If only I had stayed in touch with Lisa, I keep repeating to myself. However, had I done so, I would not have had time to develop and focus on new relationships. Neither would she.
Yes – she was a big part of my life during a season. I laughed with her, I crammed for tests with her, and I had sleepovers with her. But we moved on, and we went our separate ways. We both have had rich, full lives. God knows our lives would not necessarily have been better had the other been in them.
It was special that we intersected at all. I had a wonderful season with Lisa, and who knows? Maybe I was drawn to the firm she founded – despite my not knowing – because of the indelible and incredible marks she had made upon it.
As I make new friends and forge new paths, I am resurrecting and hanging onto my fond memories of a season with Lisa.