Seasons of Life – Originally Written Spring of 2007
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the seasons of life – the different stages/periods we go through in this journey of life. I don’t really remember what started it or where I heard that phrase but it seems like over and over I find myself applying it to different situations. Like with my job – I went through a time a few weeks ago where I had no idea if I’d still have a job the next day. But I knew that for that season (which might have only been a day) I was to get up and go to TTU and minister to students. I knew that God had placed me here to be a source of comfort and love and security for these students who are away from their home and families. I need to live in this season and not worry about the future.
The other morning I was reading Hebrews 12: 1-2 which says that we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith. (this is paraphrased, but you get the idea). Everytime I’ve ever heard or read these verses the emphasis is on the running with endurance – HOW we run the race and not so much on WHAT the race is. But, this morning the words “set before us” stuck out to me and I thought back to my previous ideas about the seasons of life. First of all I think these words are significant because not everyone runs the same race. God calls each part of the body to some different function so that the body may be complete. We run the race that God sets before US and not the race that someone else is running or that someone else thinks we should run.
Secondly, back to the seasons of life thing, we can’t know the future. We can’t know what God has for us 10 years from now or even 10 days from now. I don’t know what God has for me. I know that he has given me certain desires – to minister to students, to care for the children in Africa plagued by aids and by violence, to adopt – but I don’t know if or when these will become a part of my life. All I know is what is set before me now – I’m a child of God who is loved and forgiven by Him and commanded to follow Him, I am a wife, I am a daughter and sister in a physical family, I am a friend and sister to my siblings in the family of God, I am employed by TTU to recruit students and am placed in that employment by God to love and care for the students here – these things are all part of the race that is set before me during this season of my life. This is what I know today. Tomorrow my race could change – I could loose my job, I could loose a friend – but for today this is my race and I must run it while looking to and relying on Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of my faith.
Here’s why this is cool to me – I’m a planner and I like to plan everything even into the future. I think about it almost constantly – always planning ahead. And when I can’t plan something or can’t figure out an escape route or can’t predict possible outcomes and prepare a solution to each one its frustrating – sometimes to the point that I just don’t care at all. For example – I don’t know if I will ever move to Africa to love and care for the sick and hurt and tortured children or not. So, instead of doing what I can now – sending money, praying for them, making others aware of the situation – I don’t do anything and try my best not to think about it so that I don’t feel guilty. I know moving to Africa is an extreme situation, but I do the same thing with more realistic day to day things. If I look at life from the perspective of a series of or a journey through different seasons, the pressure to plan ahead and predict the future is gone. Having this mindset helps me to do what God has for me to do today and leave the future to Him and each day “run with endurance” the race God has set before me without worrying or trying to predict/plan for the future.