“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life is a series of seasons. Each is weeks, months or years in length and has unique characteristics that define it. They string together in the form of a roller coaster that is our lifetime. Some are filled with the anticipation of the climb, the exhilaration of the fall, the jolt of an unexpected turn, the terror of a dark tunnel, the headache from the rattling and shaking, and the sickness from being turned upside down over and over. We experience seasons of employment and unemployment, relationships and loneliness, good health and sickness, confidence and doubt, success and failure, light and darkness, sunshine and storms, the joys of youth and frustrations of old age. They make us who we are and help to develop strength, resilience and character.
Regardless of the type of season, like the roller coaster ride itself, it always comes to an end. All seasons have a beginning and an end. They start and they stop. A new season begins when the previous one ends. They are not meant to last forever. You aren’t suppose to live one season for a lifetime. Sometimes we try to make that happen, but it never works. Things change. People change. Seasons end.
“Change with the seasons of life. Don’t try to stretch a season into a lifetime.” – Unknown
We don’t want good seasons to end so we do what we can to hold on to them. It’s the guy who took 7 or 8 years to earn his bachelor’s degree in college. He enjoyed the college experience so much that he didn’t want it to end. It’s the parent who cannot accept that his daughters are growing up and becoming young women. He wants the days of snuggles and playtime to last forever because he cannot stomach the thought of boyfriends, back talk and teenage attitudes. It is the professional athlete who retires from the sport he loves, comes back to play, retires again, and then makes another attempt at a come back. In the end, he cannot perform at the level he once did so he fails. He loves the game so much that he is lost without it, but cannot see that it is time to walk away. I could go on and on because there are examples everywhere. We all do it. We work hard to stretch and extend seasons far past the point in which they were suppose to end. We hold on to relationships long after they become unhealthy. We stay at jobs even though we are unhappy and it is affecting our families. We continue to play the sports we have loved since childhood even though our bodies are hurting and quality of life is poor. It is not easy to say goodbye, but at some point we have to.
I do not know what season you are in right now, but I know that God has a lesson, or lessons, for you while in it. If it is a tough season filled with storms and darkness, find comfort in knowing that will not last. At some point it will end and the sun will shine again. Stand strong during the storm, but just don’t endure it. Learn to dance in the rain, find joy and thrive during this season because it is meant to make you stronger.
If you are season of joy and happiness be fully immersed in it. Soak up every moment of it because it will not last. A new season will be upon you at some point and it is likely that it will not be as positive. Be fully in your current season and prepare for what is to come.
If you are holding on to a season that needs to pass let it go. Remember that seasons are made to end and say goodbye. I know it is hard, but it needs to happen. A new season is upon you that will bring new challenges and new growth opportunities. Take a step forward and enter the new season with open eyes and an expectant heart.