I walk daily in my neighbourhood and one of the things I love most about it is the opportunity it affords for noticing the natural world. While my feet are pacing, my eyes are wide open in wonder! With the cool and quiet of the morning, comes the chance to practice mindful observation. I aim to engage every sense in experiencing all the moment has to offer.
Here I see the flight path of the swallow across the summer sky, I hear the rustle of the wind through the last remaining leaves of autumn, I feel winter’s chill against my face, I smell the fragrance that is spring. I take note of how the seasons come and go and how one gives way to the next. And, I also think about my life and how here too, there are different seasons. Gazillions of different seasons. Seasons of the soul. Spiritual seasons. Life stages and ages. The cycles and rhythms of life and death, sowing and reaping, rest and labour.
We would do well to heed what nature teaches us about the seasons. We learn that sometimes our growth is fast and furious and unstoppable, as in the springtime. In other seasons we may find it necessary to slow our output in order to truly rest. Often, seasons of quietness are followed by those of explosive growth and huge output. Just as the trees “go to ground” in the fall, ceasing their growth and letting go of their leaves only to burst forth with new life in the spring, our lives too may have ebbs and flows of rest and productivity. In fact, nature shows us that just like the trees, or a field under cultivation, rest is essential for growth and productivity.
At other times, the season demands that we must sow faithfully so that the harvest may come. We find ourselves, hoe in hand, breaking up the hard ground. Sweat pours off our brows, as we prepare the soil for seed. Then, once the rains have fallen and germination and growth follow, we see the bounty. The fruit has formed, the harvest is ready!
The word of God teaches us that we should be keenly aware of the seasons of life. Proverbs 10:5 reads as follows:
“Know the importance of the season you’re in and a wise son you will be. But what a waste when an incompetent son sleeps through his day of opportunity” (TPT)
Do you recognize the season you are in? Are you fighting against it, or graciously flowing with it, knowing that at some time in the future, it will change?
Think about a human pregnancy. First, that moment of conception. A new life, a new dream, a new idea. A coming together of something unique. Then the season of formation in the hidden place. A season of obscurity. Have you ever found yourself in such a season of the soul? It may feel like you’ve been placed aside, almost as though you’re sitting on the side-lines of your own life. You feel unseen, perhaps, unknown. The spotlight well and truly off you, but in that seemingly dark place, deep things are happening on the inside of you. Your inner landscape is changing. Nobody has noticed, but you are growing on the inside. There is an expansion, a stretch in your soul, in your heart, in the depths of your being.
Just as in pregnancy, there comes a time when what has changed on the inside, now translates into very visible change on the outside. The growth is obvious, undeniable. Something new is about to be birthed.
Giving life to anything new requires enormous amounts of stamina and stretching. Birthing a new baby, a new project, a new business or a new endeavour will inevitably mean a season of travail. Just as a mother labours to bring forth the life within her, we too can find ourselves in seasons of birthing. The pain is real, but so is the excitement and the anticipation. If ever there is a season filled with hope and expectancy, it is this one! Like Spring that bursts with new life and explodes with growth and promise.
Sometimes our season may require a clearing out of the old in order to make space for the new. This may mean that limiting mindsets need to be swept aside, making way for Truth. The cobwebs of faulty thinking yielding to the freshness of new and better thoughts!
If ever there is a season that inspires a clean start,
Spring offers us a fresh start. It embodies lightness and freedom and promise! The earth is alive with it is Spring! We tend to de-clutter, tidy up and clear away the detritus of the long, dusty winter months. New activity in the beautiful months of Spring, the dormancy of winter is now long-since-forgotten.
Wherever life currently finds you, embrace your season! Perhaps you are a busy mother of little children. Your output often exceeds your input. You seem to run on empty a lot of the time. You dream of having more margin and carefree days with less routine. Know the importance of your current season. Keep on sowing faithfully, for the day will come when the fruit appears.
Perhaps you are grieving a loss. Your season feels like a long, unrelenting winter. The landscape is
barren and harsh. You long for the sunshine of joy to break into your darkness. Cry your tears, feel your pain, but know that Spring will surely arrive!
You may be pregnant with new vision and find yourself swelling daily with new dreams and desires. Take time to grow with your dream. Enjoy the hidden season of preparation. The day of birth will come, and with it, a new season of enriching inheritance.
Maybe you find yourself tucked away in a season of obscurity. Like the autumn tree, you are resting, waiting for a return of energy and new growth. Rest well, for new seasons of growth will surely arrive!
The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Know your season and believe that our unchanging One has made all things beautiful in their time.
To read more about Women of Reverence contributor Angela Morgan click here.