Our church family is engaged in a 7 week study on transformation. We have daily devotionals that we tackle as individuals, small group sessions where we watch a video and have great discussion and then on the weekends, come together to hear a message preached by our lead pastor.
After week two (last weekend) the phrase I’m hearing people use most – is “It’s your season” or even more, “It’s NOT your season”. Here’s what they mean… From Merriam-Webster (online):
noun sea·son \ˈsē-zən\
Definition of season
Popularity: Top 30% of words
- 1a : a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature <in a season of religious awakening — F. A. Christie>b : a suitable or natural time or occasion <when my seasoncomes to sit on David’s throne — John Milton>c : an indefinite period of time : while <sent home again to her father for a season — Francis Hackett>
You can tune into the sermon here to hear what we’re all giddy and convicted about.
SEASONS ARE LIKE HOTEL ROOMS
But, for me the visual learner that I am, I kept thinking about being in my season like checking into a hotel room or bed and breakfast. And while I wouldn’t say that we’re “jet-setters”, I’ve had extensive experiences with being a guest in other rooms.
I got to stay at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin back in May of 2015. I chose it because in all of my 25 plus years of living in the Madison area I’d never done so. It had been newly remodeled and I’d only heard great things. It coincided with an anniversary event that took me through some of my stomping grounds from college and with our pending move to Texas, I knew it would likely be my last chance.
This hotel is gorgeous by the way. When I checked in, I spent time looking at everything. I unpacked my bags (which I do even if I’m only staying one or two nights) and spent time sitting and soaking in the view.
I know, right? It was like that when I checked in and the morning that I left.
I knew the gem and treasure of being in this lovely space for only two days. And since I’d checked in as a solo guest – it’s the introvert in me, honestly – I really savored it.
I had my quiet times at the table along the windows that offered me this view.
I slept on all sides of the large bed (both sides and in the middle).
I wore the robe – and I hardly EVER wear hotel robes.
I danced in the bathroom – because it was H-U-G-E and fancy-like.
I ordered room service.
I watched some TV and sometimes just played their background, ambience music setting station.
I put my head against the glass and looked down to see what I could see; I did this several times.
Oftentimes, in the getting ready and having some moments to pass, I would just sit still and take in the blessing of the experience. That I could afford it. That I’d had the courage to book it. That I was pampering myself and enjoying myself in this space guilt-free. That I was being in the moment.
I believe “savoring our seasons” is like this. Or can be.
What I’ve done instead – when I’ve checked into a less desirable hotel or stayed someplace that was outdoorsy and camp-like – I’ve struggled to look for the gems in those lodgings; the harder to see gifts that were just as present but I neglected to search for.
My lack of desire to embrace the spaces (seasons) that I’ve been in has caused me to miss some beautiful gifts from God. When I’ve instead allowed myself to become focused on why someone else got a different room/a seemingly better room. When I’ve instead allowed myself to long to be back home in my own bed or own space. When I’ve had the feeling that I paid for the room they DON’T show you on the website. When I was sure I’d been checked into a facility that was filming a scary movie without my consent.
And I’ve missed out. Avoiding being still in those spaces and seasons, neglecting to get the most out of them.
Ecclesiastes 3 says…
THERE’S A RIGHT TIME FOR EVERYTHING
3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.
14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
SOME OF MY SEASONS
I have been in almost all of these times. Actually, I have experienced all of these seasons.
But, I have not savored them all. I have not trusted that God had a plan for me in each of them. Instead, I’ve wanted to hurry through and get to what looked like a better season. Like my friend’s season who has moved closer to her purpose and is so at peace and beautiful when leading others the way that she does. Or when I thought that I wanted to be a principal of an elementary school and was certain that I should be but watched others take on those positions. Or the season of marriage which has ended twice for me – once against my will and the other as a result of it.
Always looking outside of my season and
glancing at comparing mine with someone else’s. Never really wishing my season on someone else but longing for theirs, having no idea what they were really going through, just thinking they’d gotten a better deal.
I’m growing in this area. Of embracing my season.
The season of single parenting an opposite sex teenager who doesn’t always believe me when I tell him that he doesn’t know everything in spite of his brain and hormones telling him so. (a time to speak up)
The season of stepping into a new career that has almost nothing to do with the college degrees I’ve collected along the way. (a time to construct)
The season of sleeping well. (a time to heal)
The season of understanding that a few great friends is better than a bunch of people who pour out adulation towards me but do not really know my heart and love me anyway. (a time to hold on)
The season of getting well and taking better care of my physical self. (a time to love myself)
The season of being alone and really learning who God is in me. (a time to embrace)
The season of laughing aloud a lot. (a time to laugh)
SAVORING WHEN IT’S DIFFICULT
I’ll keep it real with you.
There are days and times where I struggle with wanting some different things in my season. Where I struggle to savor the overflowing gifts that are in this “room”. I look at my life and it truly is like I’ve checked into a suite at the W or Omni hotels and that someone placed a bunch of gift baskets in and around the room that are specifically for me to discover and enjoy.
Some days though, I get caught up on what’s not in my season; what’s not in my space.
And I end up missing out on what is, comparing myself, struggling with envy, becoming ungrateful and even sad.
I’m have needed to be forgiven for this because there have been other seasons; much more dark, heavier, filled with depression and shame and chaos and just lostness that I could not even imagine I would ever make it through them, let alone take anything of value from those times. But, they had great value in them too which I can better understand now having moved through (have since checked out of those rooms) them.
They are reminders that I can savor the now season. That I shouldn’t get comfortable when the space makes sense or becomes easier/more manageable but that I can take moments to really slow down and take in the value of the time I’m in. To be bold enough to pull open the drawers and closets looking for God’s Truth. To receive the gift of being in the season I’m in at all recognizing that some pretty amazing stuff is happening in here. To be willing to sit in every chair and gain the perspectives of that season and space to better glean the lessons and growth opportunities prepared for me. And to really enjoy it. All of it. Because when it’s gone – when the husband dies or the divorce is finalized or the children become more independent, or the job turns out not to be what you thought, or the friends are no longer available to you, or the health you enjoyed fails – you will long for some of that time back, for the lessons and gifts you neglected to glean.
Embrace and savor it; be all in your season even when it doesn’t seem like it has views like this.