It seems I have been hearing that phrase a lot recently. Now that the Fourth of July is behind us, the store shelves will soon fill with "back to school" specials and the imagination will turn from growing a garden to picking the harvest. Some will say we still have a lot of Summer left, which is true, but more and more we begin to think of Summer's end. And with our minds focused on endings, we might experience anxiety, worry and a sense that there is still so much more to be done.
These recurrent events in life are constant reminders that everything earthly is temporary; thus the often used phrase, "This too shall pass." Some people greet this realization with sadness, some with resignation and others with resistance. It may have to do with our general fear of endings, mortality and loss of control.
Hopefully we will greet it with appreciation, gratitude and a recognition that all is part of God's plan "to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth." (Ephesians 1:10) John Donne does a good job summing it up in his poem, No Man is an Island;
"No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.”
Our connection with the greater whole allows us to see that what appears to be a separation is actually an integration; and what appears to be an ending is really a new beginning. Once separation is replaced by integration, and once endings are replaced with a sense of continuity, fear diminishes and life can be lived in a more whole and holy manner. And with holiness, fullness of life increases.