Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, tells us there is a time for every season under heaven. He lists some of those seasons and says that chasing after many common things is like chasing the wind and meaningless without God.
11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.Ecclesiastes 2:11
24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.Ecclesiastes 2:24
Weather seasons have official beginning and ending dates, but the vagaries of climate––of temperature and precipitation––do not obey the designations of a calendar. They come early. They leave late. They linger and mingle, flirting with the idea of going or staying regardless of the number assigned to the day. Beginnings and endings have see-saw starts and snaggle-toothed stops without neat lines between.
Other seasons are like that, too. Childhood flows into adolescence which transitions into young adulthood and eventually we’re all grown up, with grown-up responsibilities. But sometimes children are thrust into being grown up long before they’re ready, just as many adults seem stuck in a younger season. Or maybe, the lines aren’t solid, but fluid, and we cross back and forth depending on the situation.
Animals use instinct to know when to retain fat and grow extra hair to prepare for cold seasons and when to shed those layers for summer. Christ-followers have an indwelling Spirit that acts as our link to heaven. He can nudge us in the right direction. He guides us in our choices. And, I believe he can help us sense when a change of season is coming.
Several things can interfere with our reception of His signals. First, we much be looking and listening for His words in our hearts and minds. Just like a radio, it’s hard to pick up a frequency we’re not attuned to. Second, our own desires can block transmission or blur our understanding. For instance, if we’re considering moving in one direction, but the Spirit seems to indicate we should move in another, we may question the proper course or second-guess what we’ve heard.
Timing is another difficult piece to nail down. Even once we’re certain of a direction, we may struggle with timing. When are we to move exactly? Should we complete one season before beginning another? Spring and summer don’t work that way, so why should we assume our lives will? I think God uses the current season (or past ones) to equip us for the next or upcoming segment. But our idea of completion may not equal God’s.
It would be nice if we had a road map or GPS that lets us know in plenty of time when a turning point is ahead, but that isn’t the case. Nor it is always a clear break, like a right or left turn. More likely we’ll be stuck on a roundabout for a while until we can figure out which turn is really ours.
God’s timing is not always convenient, nor welcome, but it is always perfect. The hard part is discerning it and reconciling ourselves to follow.
One thing the faithful heroes and heroines of the bible have in common is that they didn’t hesitate once they determined God’s will for their next steps. They did whatever it was right away. Not the next day or a week later but immediately.
Immediate obedience is not simple. It requires sacrifice and faith. I’m hoping to have that sort of faith––a childlike obedience that allows me to follow the path laid before me.
At the moment, I’m still working out what that path is. At least to some degree. And I’m definitely uncertain of the when. But, I’m praying and seeking and we’re told that those who seek, find. So I believe I will know when the time is right. All I can do is be ready to pack my tent and go as soon as I hear the word.
I pray you hear and obey God’s direction in your life as well. Nothing in life is worth pursuing unless God is in it. And if God is in it, nothing is too hard, nor impossible. May you seek and find the answers you’re looking for.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. If you’d like a deeper look into my worlds, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE. I appreciate any support, whether pray or subscription. Share the blog with anyone you feel may benefit. Blessings until next time, friends!
Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash
Photo by Roger Bradshaw on Unsplash
Feature Photo by Héctor Emilio Gonzalez on Unsplash