Seasons. We all have them in our lives. Just like the earth has seasons.
You’re in a season right now. And I’m in a season right now. In our lives, we are either planting, growing, harvesting, or lying fallow.
Think about your:
Maybe you’re in a “Spring” and starting that new job?
Or maybe you’ve moved to the “Summer” of a relationship that’s been growing and blossoming into something beautiful for some time now?
Maybe you’ve arrived into the “Fall” of a hobby? A time where you’ve reaped the rewards of your investments and you’re able to rest for a season and reflect on lessons learned.
It helps to understand the season you are in.
Spring – You’re busy planning and planting. Deciding what crops to grow and how you’ll arrange them in your fields. Which ones will you keep to feed your family? Which ones will you sell at the market to make a profit?
In life, we plan if we want things to be effective, hold value, and be successful. We don’t rush into buying a house just because we like the color. We research the area that surrounds it. We look at what other houses in the area have sold for. We look at what schools our kids will be going to.
In what area of life are you planning and planting right now? What will success look like? What will happen in the summer as a result of your efforts now?
Summer – You finished planting last season and now you’re watching your crops start to grow. Your Spring efforts, blood, sweat, and tears have come to fruition and you’re able to see the results of your toils. But you still tend to your crops because they’re still growing. Maybe it’s time to protect them from insects by applying a pesticide. Or do you need to build a fence so the the deer and rabbits don’t eat the young crops?
Think maintenance here. You’ll see the rewards soon enough. Maybe you’ll see a promotion from all those extra hours you’ve put in at work? Maybe you’ll get engaged after a year of dating your girlfriend? Perhaps you’ll be able to pay off a loan or take a cruise because you rethought your budget?
In what area of life are you maintaining, growing, and seeing the fruits of your Spring efforts? What does success look like? If your field doesn’t look the way you planned it to look in Spring, what adjustments can you make that would achieve your vision?
Fall – 100% of your crops have matured and are ready for harvest. You’ve watered your crops and kept them nourished. You’ve protected them from the elements that threaten their vitality. You’ve succeeded. Now you’re able to harvest and reap the rewards of your seasons of labor.
This is also the period of time that Dr. Henry Cloud refers to as “pruning“. Your growing season has come full circle and has ended. This is where you identify the dying and toxic parts of your life and prune them so the younger, healthier areas can mature.
This is where you make what Cloud calls a “necessary ending“. This is required to preserve the health of the greater whole. Maybe a relationship has turned toxic and destructive, coming to a point where it needs to be ended? Or you’re at a fork in the road with your current job and the offer of a potentially better job?
What areas of your life need pruning? What things in your life need to end so that you are able to achieve greater things?
Winter – Your harvest season is complete. If all things have gone according to your plans, you’ll be able to let your fields rest and replenish their nutrients for the the next growing season.
Or maybe you’re at a point where you need to grieve the death of a family member, or a marriage. Let the winter last. Don’t cut it short. Let your grieving complete itself so that you can begin healing and begin a healthy Spring when this season has ended. Were there lessons to be learned? Take time to reflect.
What area of your life is experiencing a winter? What do you need to grieve or process so that new seeds can be planted in the Spring? What lessons have you learned to make your Spring a better one?
Three Thoughts on Seasons-
1. Time – My winter may last longer than yours. And my summer may be shorter. The length of each of our seasons is determined by the person we are. No one other person’s measuring stick can dictate how long our seasons will last. We take our seasons in our own time. No one has the right to tell you your season is too short or too long. Don’t let them do it, my friend.
2. Order – It sounds paradoxical, but maybe my summer comes right after my winter. Or maybe my Spring jumps right into fall. Where did the summer go, MAN? I don’t think we need to freak out if our seasons unfold differently than the earth’s…or someone else’s Rather, concentrate on what season you are in. Know what the season is. Unlock the meaning. Concentrate on making the season come full circle. Grow through it.
3. Meaning – My winter may consist of getting over my resentment while yours could mean reflecting on your successes? Maybe your summer consists of putting up fences around your investments while mine consists of being able to sit on the porch and enjoy watching my crops grow. Each season’s meaning will be different for everyone. It’s up to us to decipher that meaning.