Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Time for Everything

Well you might notice the new look here. Or you might not. I thought this might be a little easier on the eyes and Daughter helped me with it last night. Not sure this is the finished product but I thought the old format was looking a bit tired.


It was the writer of the Book of Ecceslesiastes who said, "To everything there is a season" or, in another translation, "There is a time for everything." Great words, and so true.

As I have written numerous times recently, we've been in a season of cold weather here in Middle Tennessee, unusually so for us, and even though cool is normally my preference, it has been a joy to see the sun these past few days and to awake early this Saturday morning and walk with my dog, with the sun shining brightly (even though it's still nippy), gave an oh-so-delightful start to this day.

Christians who observe the liturgical calendar are in the season of Lent, the 40-day period that precedes Easter, a period of introspection that is supposed to help us focus on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, culminating in Easter Sunday when the resurrection is celebrated.

I am in a non-denominational church now but have the good fortune of sometimes working near a beautiful old Episcopal church that has noon services every weekday during Lent. I try to make it to a few of them during the season when I can and enjoy the few minutes of solitude and reflection in the middle of a busy day. I am always refreshed.

At work I feel as if I have been in a season of learning patience for quite some time now. As you all know, things are trying in the world of banking right now.

As a lawyer, I grew accustomed a long time ago to the disdain many have for that profession. There are not many lawyer jokes I have not heard.

I've been in banking a number of years now and bankers are held in about the same regard now as lawyers. When I tell someone what I do, the typical response is, "A lawyer and a banker?!" -- then uproarious laughter.

But believe me, I am extremely thankful to have a job. I can put up with stupid jokes. And inside the banking world right now I am dealing with the minutia of regulation that is sometimes equivalent to watching paint dry. And convincing others that yes, we must comply with these regulations and how we feel about them really doesn't matter, is often daunting. So I don't see that season of learning patience letting up anytime soon.

On the home front, I believe Wife and I are in a several-year-long season of transition. Older Son lives away from home. Daughter is a junior in college. Younger son is a junior in high school.

Yesterday I took Younger Son for his first college visit. He's the one to whom I have held tightly these past couple of years and I could almost physically feel him pulling away, oh so gently, yesterday, and I already felt myself not liking it.

And as much as I might resist the changing seasons, the changes and transitions will continue. And nobody could say it better than the aforementioed writer:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born, a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uprooot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Redlefty said...

Reg E or Credit Card Act getting on your nerves, eh?


quid said...


The blog is looking sharp. I enjoyed your post. The weather in Florida is positively sharp... 40 at night, 60 during the day. I love it, but we get a lot of mumbling from the baseball tourists.

I did not know you were in banking. I populated that world for about 23 years of my career in finance, hr and call center. The consumer regulation lawyers were bored, but expert... the real estate attorneys were always living a rock an roll life as we tried to foreclose on Donald Trump or somesuch, and my favorite attorney was the litigation manager. We got to sit down quarterly and figure out how much we should set aside in case we lost to employees, shareholders or didn't recover from thieves.

I wonder, if attorneys took a vote, where would most want to practice?

I attended an Episcopal church in Connecticut for 3 years that was welcoming and harmonious. I've not found a "church home" since then. I truly enjoyed the closing of your post. There isn't much in poetry or prose that can beat it.


Bob said...

Michael -- it's Reg E and DD. And I never knew overdraft could be so complicated. Indeed, it shouldn't be. I have a colleague who deals with the credit card act and we're considering a suicide pact . . .

Quid, yes I am one of the boring ones. But I try to keep it lively and I love working with the folks in the branches, truly the front lines of the banking world.

Kelly said...

I like the new look, Bob. It's probably time for a change on mine, but I just haven't wanted to take the trouble.

I also enjoyed your closing from Ecclesiastes.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Funny you should mention this, Bob. I too am entering a period of a major upheaval and change in my own life. I keep reminding myself that whatever your life is like today, there is no guarantee that it will be like this tomorrow. We have to not only be ready for change but accept it happily.

As for that scripture you quoted at the end of your post- very appropriate and, might I say...lyrical?

Debby said...

I don't always 'accept things happily', but I am very good at putting my head down and enduring. I have also discovered that God does some of his very best work during our hardest times, so I am mindful to look for Him then.

Redlefty said...

More than half my company's revenue comes from our overdraft product. We have almost 1,000 banks and credit unions as clients, and I run both our sales teams, so I know Reg E and Reg DD like the back of my hand!

Bob said...

Michael, the book 'Game Change,' about the 2008 election, includes a quote from Barack Obama, something to the effect "this sh--
would really be interesting if we weren't right in the middle of it."

That's how I feel about the overdraft stuff.

I'm weary.

Redlefty said...

Same here! Exhausted but fascinated.

Retail banking will certainly look different in 10 years and in a way it's very cool to be inside the raging rapids.

Love the Obama quote.