It was the springtime. We were house hunting. We knew our budget, the type of house and location we were looking for. We walked into the house one Sunday afternoon. It was outdated. The house had a tired kitchen, ugly wallpaper, faded carpet, and outdated bathrooms. In fact, the entire house reeked of the 80’s.
But we fell in love with the house. The location was private and beautiful. The neighborhood was quiet and small. We made an offer. A lowball offer. After all, we would have to update the entire house unless we wanted the vintage look. We didn’t.
The offer was rejected. Our realtor suggested we wait three weeks. If no offer was received by then, the owner would reduce the price. Low and behold, that is what happened. We made another offer. They countered. Finally, we agreed upon a price. The house was ours.
The previous owner must have loved bearded irises. The south side of the house was planted with multiple colors of the flower. The iris is a flower I’ve never been fond of. I knew she had to love irises, because she had a huge bouquet of them sitting on the dining room table when we toured the house. It was iris season. I’m sure she was very proud of her iris bed. What she didn’t know was that I had plans to get rid of every last iris.
I imagine the former owner had most likely spent many hours in her iris bed. Planting. Weeding. Pruning. Deadheading. Cutting the fresh blooms to enjoy indoors.
But once she sold the house, all bets were off for that iris bed. I had plans, and they didn’t include irises. What she didn’t know was that I loved peonies, roses and zinnias. Instead of having all purple flowers, I wanted to see some pinks and reds and oranges. Even yellow.
I waited a couple of years before I decided it was time to make some changes. The flower bed was bigger than I realized, so I only managed to dig up one third of the bulbs the first fall. The next year, I removed another third of the bulbs. Finally, this year I’ve dug out the remaining third of the flowerbed.
Now I can begin the real work of making the flowerbed mine.
We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. Ecclesiastes 1:11
It’s easy to be offended when someone comes along and makes changes to what you once held dear. Times change. Interests are updated. People grow. What was once new is now old, and what was old is now new again.
Change can be liberating or exhausting. Depending on what side of the equation you’re on, someone else’s decision to change may just be the motivation to get you out of your comfort zone. It may be the nudge to actually move on when moving on wasn’t on your mind.
Letting go of old and beloved flowers or habits or traditions or jobs can take your breath away, or it can bring new life. It all depends on the attitude of
adjustment. It doesn’t have to be offensive.
I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. Ecclesiastes 2:18-21
The flowerbed that once held colorful bearded irises will produce something different in the spring. White peonies. Pink roses. Orange Chinese lanterns. The possibilities are endless. Each season, the flowerbed that only held irises will now shine with new colors and blooms. It will have a new look. A future owner will never know irises once grew in the space. But then again, they may remove all my hard work and start a fresh new space. It is expected. It is accepted. There are times when change needs to occur in order for stagnation to be replaced by fresh newness.
There is a time and a season for everything. Adjusting to change is hard, especially when it isn’t an expected or desired change. Newness can bring new life and new opportunities that one would never have experienced if the change hadn’t occurred.
It isn’t easy to embrace change, but moving on to new pastures can be refreshing and invigorating. Otherwise, change can cause an inner death and allow a root of bitterness to grow. Accept change. Allow the newness of discomfort to challenge and renew your spirit. New life blooms ahead in the new season.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1