Uncover the season you are in to live well
Seasons take us on a journey. Some are easier than others, and some catch us quite by surprise. Ever wondered what season you are in right now? Over the years, I have been in times of growth, times of pruning, and new beginnings. I’m sure you have too. What I never realized was how helpful it can be to discern and understand where you are right now.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
We can learn from nature.
Plants know how to yield to the changing times and weather patterns, and so should we. Firstly, in yielding to where we are right now, we can find rest and then growth. Practically, this means that you accept the season you are in because “it is what it is.” If you are in an exciting time of new opportunities and increase or fruitfulness, revel in that – celebrate it and yield to that season.
Do not grieve the season you are in at the moment.
That is to say, don’t long for what was or what will be. Be content where you are – in good times and challenging times. Consequently, you can enter into the season of life God has you in. Every season will change. Hard times will end; easy times will cease; that’s the rhythm of life. Learning to yield will invite you into greater freedom.
For example, if you’re a mom with young children, yield to that period where you have nappies, bottles and sleepless nights. Be present, for in a few short years they will have grown, and everything will be different. If you’re working hard and nothing seems to be opening, hang in there. Your breakthrough is imminent. Perhaps you have to slow down due to illness or family crisis, take heart, this too will change. Wherever you are, enter in and embrace today.
Seasons of life
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
Dark winter days
Winter is a time for slowing down. The trees and plants seem dormant, but don’t be fooled. Much is going on underground. Dr. Mark Ooi, a plant ecologist, said that only when a seed has been exposed to low temperatures for long enough, a process known as cold stratification, that plant hormones trigger the end of dormancy. At this time, if environmental conditions are favorable — such as enough water around — the seed can then germinate, again a process governed by plant hormones.
Slower seasons have a purpose. For some, your life might look like dead branches, for others a seed fallen in the ground, but wait. Likewise, winter might mean a season of isolation (due to geography, illness, or other reasons). Rest assured, winter can lead to the dawn of transformation.
“If you are enduring a cold season, don’t underestimate Christ can plant you right where you are at no matter how dirty, beat up, or worthless you may feel. Rest assured, He has strategically placed you in the precise place on earth for such a time as this.” ― Dana Arcuri, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity, A 50-Day Devotional
Spring is a season a new birth. In nature, plants get the conditions they need to begin to grow. The longer days mean they have sudden spurts of growth. Bulbs planted in autumn, start to shoot. Birds are singing, babies are being born, and flowers are beginning to bloom.
In our lives, a spring season could mean the budding of dreams, and new hopes begin to emerge. We have increased energy and take on new tasks with vigor. Often that which happens in the natural mirrors the spiritual realm. Ask the Lord, what new thing does He want to do in your heart?
During summer a forest begins to experience a period of wild growth. Some trees can grow as fast as much as 2cm a day. Similarly, there is an abundance of fruit and scents of flowers fill the air. But, there is also (in some places) lots of heat and rain. For us, summer seasons could be a time of joy, rapid growth, fruitfulness, the establishing of new things, or even a drought? Summertime is often of the happiest of times.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono
Autumn brings mixed emotions; it’s an in-between stage. Hot days become rarer and the nights longer. The leaves begin to change, and so do our rhythms. In nature, autumn blooms are glorious. The various hues of reds and oranges light up the terrain with fallen leaves decorating the grass. What about the autumn harvest? Autumn speaks of preparation, of settling down as we ready ourselves for winter. Autumn is like a doorway to another season; a time of reflection or even transition?
What season are you in?
“The madness of spring is so enticing. I love it when things are opening up and emerging from the ground. I also love the middle of summer when fruit is bursting forth, but I even love the garden in the winter when everything is resting.” Ross Gay
Great questions you can ask.
One of the most insightful questions one can ask is: “what now?” ‘What’ rather than ‘why’ opens your heart and thoughts to interpret a myriad of options. When we ask ‘why,’ we often end up with more questions and fewer answers and frequently find ourselves discouraged.
Consider these questions to discern your season
1. What is your energy level like?
2. Are you filled with fresh vision?
3. What has God been speaking to you about?
4. Are you feeling like you are being hidden for a season?
5. Are plenty of doors opening up for you?
6. What’s happening naturally? I’m your life, and in nature?
7 What can I learn from my past season?
Like the writer of Ecclesiastes ponders: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
“Our lives are a journey. As we move forward, we will not only figuratively experience the geography of life: the exhilaration of high mountains, the tranquility of calm meadows, the isolation of treacherous canyons, but we will also experience the seasons of life: the hope of spring, the abundance of summer, the harvest of autumn, and yes, the darkness and depression of winter.” ― Seth Adam Smith
You can live well through every season by embracing where you are, growing and learning all the while making the most of every day.
Did you discover something new about yourself? What season are you in right now? Let me know in the comments section or share a story of what you learned in a past season.
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