The 3 R’s of Seasonal Living.
In recent months God has been dealing with me about the seasons of my life, and how best to recognize, respect and respond to the season He has me in. Sometimes I do not see or understand what exactly I am supposed to be doing and when it should begin and end. Fortunately I serve a very patient God and He is gracious in giving me time, wisdom and discernment with which to figure the seasons out.
He has been schooling me in the 3 R’s of seasonal living. [Sounds like a furniture store advertisement, doesn’t it?] Recognize [a skill], respect [a mindset] and respond [an action] to the seasons as God changes them throughout our lives.
First, I need to recognize the season I am in. Just as I would not wear winter clothes in July, nor a bathing suit in February, I need to pay attention to the signs of my seasons. [Although this IS Florida and our seasons are so messed up we could swim in Feb. and freeze in July sometimes, but--for the purposes of this blog we will pretend Florida has normal weather. AS IF, lol.] Recognition comes from being informed, being informed comes from paying attention to myself, the people around me, and most importantly, the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The seasons of life and living are not always as obvious as leaves falling off of the trees or flowers blooming. Am I in a season of rest or a season of heavy work? What am I doing that bears fruit and what seems to be chaff on the altar? Am I effective in this season or ineffective? However this applies to you, take it, pray about it, and listen for God’s answer.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;” --Daniel 2:21 ESV
Second, respect the season I am in. Live in the moment as it happens, because we are not promised tomorrow. Look for the “Jesus,” in the harder seasons because He is always there. Respect what God is doing in this season in the here and now. If I get too focused on the seasons past or the seasons yet to come, I can miss entirely what God is trying to do in my season here and now. I can slow down my own growing up process both spiritually and in the natural. Embrace the now, right here, today. Respect that God is trying to rework us into something way more beautiful and valuable than we were in the season prior, even if it doesn’t feel good, look good or sound good. Respect what God’s plan is for us and we cannot go wrong.
“8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah” --Psalm 62:8
Last but not least is respond to the season I am in. This is the most active part of seasonal living under God’s hand. Respond promptly and trust God! If He is telling us to lay something down, lay it down. If He is saying start something new, do it. Pray, and pray a lot! Then trust God wholeheartedly. Dance if it’s the season, mourn if it’s the season, sow seeds into the lives of others in due season and harvest when the season comes as well. God is faithful. He will honor your response to the season He has you in.
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
“2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
--Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, English Standard Version (ESV)