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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Enjoy This Season!

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8     To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace (NKJV).

Have you ever looked forward to a special event in the future, such as Christmas morning, a birthday, or a special trip?  Most of us become filled with anticipation, wondering how it will exactly unfold, and expecting an exciting experience.  Especially as a child, I always looked forward to the next age I was approaching, not just the birthday itself, but it always seemed like being older would make life a little better, somehow.  On that long-anticipated day, I was always asked, "What's it like to be . . .(8,9,10 . . . 16)?"  My response was always:  "It feels the same," and there was always a little disappointment in that fact. 

How often do we look at our current life situation and wish for something more?  Besides just wanting to be older, there have been many "seasons" in my life during which I became dissatisfied.  I looked ahead to the next season thinking:  "If only I was there, life would be so much better!"  A few of my personal examples include:  feeling "dateless" as a youth, being in college, dating the man of my dreams, but wishing we were engaged, becoming engaged, but not married, married, but no children, the list goes on and on. 

Time after time, when I've reached this point of dissatisfaction, God has spoken a word to me.  I've heard it so many times now, that I laugh to myself when He repeats it:  This time of your life is unique.  It won't last forever.  There are special experiences you can only have during this stage of life, and I have lessons to teach you now, that you cannot learn later.  For every perceived advantage in a certain phase of life, there are down sides as well.  On the flip side, for every drawback in your current season, there are also advantages!

This verse in Ecclesiastes might sound like it's describing opportune times in life for various activities to occur, but it's not.  Instead, it declares that God controls time and seasons, not just seasons of the earth, but of our personal lives as well.  There is a time for every purpose under heaven.  God alone knows when you're ready to progress from one stage to the next.  Only He knows the experiences He has in store for you, the skills you are to develop, and the special work He has for you to accomplish, right now!

Contrary to popular culture, life is not a race to reach a point of complete satisfaction, but a journey to be enjoyed as you go.  There will be joys and sorrows throughout every season.  If you spend your entire life looking forward to the next thing, you'll miss the miracles occurring in the present.  Just the other day, I was watching my little girl run through the house.  As she passed, I thought sadly that her little toddling walk is all that's left of her babyhood.  How I hope that I have fully enjoyed the early season of her life, because it's almost gone, never to return.

So, are you enjoying the season?  Are you taking advantage of your youth, when loving adults meet your needs and allow you to explore your talents and interests?  Are you making the most of the "single" life, and discovering the special work God has for you?  If not, then get started!  This special stage of life won't last forever.  All too soon you will have responsibilities, in the form of a husband, children, a career, or many other things, that will limit your ability to do what you, and you alone enjoy

What season of life are you experiencing right now?  Have you struggled to remain content?  What has helped you along the way?  Please drop us a line and share!


myranda rice said...

Oh man this really hit home! My oldest turned 10 years old today and i have been thinking about how i wish i could rewind and pause his little life. When they are born you cant wait for them to walk, talk, play sports,etc. I have four babies ages 10 8 5 and 4. My youngest is nearly in school and I have found myself wondering where the time went. Enjoy the time you are in because when it is gone it it is just that GONE! You will miss it and you will want to go back but you cant. I am looking forward to watching my children grow but i pray that i remember every day to enjoy the todays because once tomorrow gets here the todays are yesterdays. Thanks April!

Lacey said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, April! Timely for all of us!!!

April M. Anderson said...

@ Myranda and Lacey:

It's funny how often I have to re-learn this lesson, but every time I manage to embrace it again, it gives me a lot of peace. We can't make anything happen, no matter how big or small. The sooner we recognize this, the easier it will be to sit back, let God take the lead, and enjoy the ride!