Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seasons of Life

by Tim Howard

I’m preparing to travel out of the country in a few months and have begun to think about what I need to pack. When packing for an excursion to another country, one of the first questions a person should ask involves the season. If it’s summer, you will pack one set of clothing but if winter a totally different set.

The Bible makes it clear that God established 4 distinct seasons. "As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night."  Genesis 2:22 (LB) This is also true for our human existence. There are different seasons of life and when one yields to the next, you will find it needful to repack your bags.

One writing from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst mentions the morning, afternoon and evening of our lives. He says “we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning – for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”

All of us carry some baggage from the morning of our lives into the afternoon and evening. If you don’t unpack and repack your bags along the way, you will discover the truth Mr. Jung mentioned. What worked in one season may not be appropriate or helpful in the next.

Unpacking simply means taking a long, hard look at what we’re carrying and why. Seeing if our possessions, perspectives, attitudes, responsibilities and relationships are still helping us move forward or if they are dragging us down.

Repacking then is the ongoing activity of reevaluation and reinvention. Leaving behind what is not needed and choosing to carry only those things that will help you discover a renewed sense of life.

What do you need to release in this season of time? What have you been carrying around that is no longer beneficial? What do you need to hold on to? What things do you need to add to your life in this upcoming season that will help you get to the next level?

Are you in a season of grief? Loss? Waiting? Celebration? Anticipation? Maybe it’s a season of self-doubt? Confidence? Dryness or Rest. No matter what season you are in, remember this:

God has a purpose for every season. Some can be brutal but God can even use those to develop character. It’s not enough to merely ‘grow up.’ One must also ‘grow down.’ Without roots, you won’t be able to weather the storms of life and roots only grow deeper in difficult seasons. I personally like the fun, joyful and easy seasons but the hard ones produce substance and every season should be embraced.

There’s even a promise in the difficult seasons for those who put their trust in Jesus. Rom. 8:28 “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I’m not a gardener by any means but I do know that in order for plants to flourish, they have to have changing seasons. The same is true for our lives to be healthy.

Eccl. 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Don’t hold onto what’s old and unproductive. Make sure to repack your bags for the next season. It is a season of great possibilities if you hang with Jesus.

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