The other day I was thinking about seasons. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter.
They’re each so wonderful in their unique way. Spring brings the promise of summer. The world blossoms with hopefulness as the earth warms up. Outside activity increases. Grass gets greener. Neighbors see neighbors. The weather is comfortable and breezy. Sandals and light jackets replace boots and heavy coats. And as classes are about to wrap up and summer vacations occupy our brains, we all anticipate… summer.
Summer seems to arrive with perfect timing each year. Schools are letting out and shorts and tank tops are in the constant laundry rotation. The ice-cream truck jingle is music to our ears. Summer means so many things: pool parties, lemonade, vacations, sunbathing, the beach, traveling, flip flops. It’s what we’ve been waiting for, right? But after a couple months (and maybe this is only in Louisiana because our summers last for 472 years) of wearing our swimsuits and jean shorts day in and day out, we’re ready for some cooler weather. Autumn merchandise begins to grace the perfectly-dressed store mannequins. On our weekly trip to the grocery store, we start seeing Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations (if you’re in Hobby Lobby). The new school years commence and we all anticipate… fall.
Fall is just the BEST, is it not? It is my personal favorite. Fall means all things pumpkin: pumpkin carving, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin patches, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin butter. Fall means layering clothes: leg warmers, boots, scarves, jackets, beanies, tights, coats and sweaters. The leaves change colors (if you’re lucky enough to live in the north) and the schedules get busier. Football season brings out the fan in all of us. Thanksgiving gifts us with quality time and quality food (and let’s be honest, a huge quantity of food). And as we get used to layering clothes and seeing festive decorations around town, we anticipate… winter.
Because as we say hello to winter, we say hello to Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year. Winter brings us Christmas trees, snow and neighborhoods twinkling with lights. It brings us candy canes, bonfires and gingerbread houses to decorate. With winter, we welcome time off from work and school. Cities are frantic with shoppers buying presents to place under their trees. We also see new flavors everywhere such as peppermint, gingerbread and eggnog. There’s just something about wearing fuzzy socks, mug of hot chocolate in hand while cozying up in the warmth of your own home. But after just a few weeks of cold, we are ready to not have to heat up our cars 5 minutes before we go to work. And, you guessed it… we anticipate spring. All over again.
It seems to be similar with our seasons of life. We are never fully content with where we are. We are always looking to the next season for satisfaction. I am the poster child for wanting to be where I’m not. After I got married, I was seeking a full-time job. The days following my honeymoon were spent sleeping in, setting up our new home, reading, watching TV, hanging out with my hubby, cooking, cleaning and running post-wedding errands. It sounds like a dream, even to me! But as the days of having no schedule passed, I began craving structure. My search for a full-time job became more vigorous as I was determined to find something.
After a few weeks, I found something! I was so excited!! I began thinking of what my new life would look like. Monday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch breaks. Corporate office. Blazers and slacks. It all sounded so exciting. But as I continued to picture this new season, I admittedly got a tad nervous. Want a peek inside my head?
Am I ready for this? This is a big girl job. This is a huge commitment. Am I gonna survive a 40-hour work week? Will I have time for me? For my husband? For my friends? For my family? Am I going to be too tired at the end of the night? I’m not a morning person. How am I going to feel at 6 a.m.? I can’t wait until I don’t have to work. That’ll be so nice.
What I had desired finally happened and I immediately started thinking of life without it again. Why? Why do we do this? Why do we always seek the next thing?
God tells us that there is a time for everything.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecc. 3:1
There is purpose in where we are. We are all in a season of our own. Maybe it’s a season of grieving, of growing or of loneliness. Maybe it’s one of encouragement, of community, or of serving. Whatever season the Lord has you in now is exactly where you are supposed to be. Cherish it, for it will not last forever. Another season will follow and you will not get this season back. Maybe you don’t want this season back; that is okay. But I challenge you to ask yourself what you have learned in your current situation. I’m certain you will find some good.
Treat the weather season and your season of life the same way… with optimism & thankfulness. For they both have purpose and perfect timing.