Most mornings I walk our dog, Lex, up and down our neighborhood street. A while back I noticed that one of our neighbors was getting rid of some shrubs in front of her home.
As time progressed I saw the dirt being prepared as dark plastic went down and bark chips went on. Then one day small plants were laid in a couple of nice rows. It was the start of something lovely.
However, soon after the flowers were planted, we had an unseasonable cold snap and more than half of the flowers wilted and died.
As I walked past the dead flowers, I wondered to myself if I, like my neighbor, had ever tried to begin something new when the time wasn’t quite right.
Our culture teaches us that things should always get bigger, bolder, better, broader. We should be ever expanding and always busy.
However, simply looking at the seasons of the year can show us that there is a time for everything.
As we continue to move into this new year, it may or may not be time for you to begin something new. Our souls don’t always follow the pattern of the calendar seasons, but we can use these patterns as a metaphorical lens through which to discern the seasons of our soul.
Instead of trying to force some kind of resolution that may not fit you, why not set aside a bit of time to meet with God and listen. See if you can discover where you are in your journey. Maybe He has some invitations for you that fit exactly where you are.
Each of us ebb and flow in and out of seasons physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and relationally. It would help our souls greatly to pay attention to these movements and work along with them.
A few quick seasons of the soul questions…
Is it summer? Are you basking in the sun and enjoying the pleasure of activity? Is it a time of energy and re-creating?
Is it fall? Is there a bountiful harvest in which you get to participate? Are you bringing in the fruits of your labor?
Is it winter? Have your branches been pruned? Are you quietly waiting as your roots dig deep and redirected sap replenishes your soul?
Is it spring? Do you sense new life, new possibilities, new growth?
God meets us individually in each season. He certainly isn’t requiring a tree in winter to bear any fruit. And a tree blossoming in spring isn’t thinking about pruning yet.
Sometimes we place expectations on ourselves that don’t match our season. This can lead to discouragement, frustration and even hopelessness.
Of course, we can be in one season in one area of our lives and in different season in another area. But you might be able to determine and over-arching season that represents where your soul is right now.
I will say it again, and more specifically, if you are in winter, it is not helpful to be out in the orchard looking to fill your basket with fruit. If, however, you are in the harvest time of fall, then let yourself enjoy the fruits of your labor and make time for gratitude and thanksgiving.
You get the idea. With grace, let yourself be exactly where you are, and walk with God in that place. Welcome the invitations that resonate with the season in which you find yourself.
God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!