We all have our favorite seasons. My wife's is summer. She loves the heat. My neighbor's is winter. He yearns for the cold. Me? I prefer fall. Cool. Colorful. Brisk.
We experience seasons in life too. They come and they go. We each have our own winters, springs, summers, and falls.
Life can be hard. None of us has it good or smooth all the time.
Our personal winters involve an inordinate amount of stress. Financial challenges.
Relational upset. Work upheaval. Health issues. Personal losses and deaths.
Our winters remind us that life is not a straight superhighway with a few potholes and rest stops along the way. Instead, life is more like a demanding hike across varied terrain full of ups and downs. Parts of this trek are arduous and demanding.
Since we know these winters will come, we can prepare for them. We save. We pursue physical, mental, and spiritual wellness now. We invest heavily in our hearts. We store up reservoirs of good for the challenges ahead.
And when the time comes, we accept winter and deal with it as it is. Life shrinks. We shift into survival mode.
Yet, we can use the difficulties and hardships we face as fuel for the future. Pressure and stress can be the fire that weans our lives of needless waste and focuses us on living with more passion and purpose than ever.
Eventually, cold recedes and warm breezes begin to blow. Hidden plants sprout. Flowers bloom. Everything seems to shout, "Life!"
Our personal springs are when life seems bright, positive, and full of opportunity. Our souls come alive. Something whispers, "Seize the day!"
In spring, we often plant. We sow seeds of good. We get out and pursue healthy, positive relationships. We limit our heart's exposure to negative or toxic influences. We shift into a higher gear of productivity.
Since we're limited human beings with only so much time and energy, learning to discern between the good and the best becomes important. Some opportunities are better than others.
Life comes down to things like love, people, and service. This trio flows from the heart. We all long to live from our hearts with great purpose and meaning. Springtime presents us with wonderful opportunities to do so.
Summer is the season of fun. School's out. It's vacation time.
This is the season of freedom. Joy and comfort arrive. Smiles all around. Conversations and laughter fill the air.
Thankfully, we all experience seasons of joy, comfort, and freedom. We play and relax. There's a light sort of gaiety to these days.
Enjoy summers and use them well. Keep investing in your heart. Reach out. Connect. Give. Serve. And watch the summer benefits roll in.
The temp drops. Leaves change color. We're back in school. The season of fun and freedom gives way to a time of learning and growth.
We look back, reflect, and are thankful. The joys and freedom of summer are still visible in our rearview mirrors. We glance back and smile.
Instead of hanging on to summer or trying to recreate it, we can meet the current fall season with thanksgiving for all the goodness we've experienced. The more gratitude we cultivate, the less room there is for comparison and complaining.
We evaluate the previous seasons. We grin at what went well and wince at what didn't.
We find ourselves at a crossroads. One fork leads to anger, guilt, and potential life paralysis. The other leads to healing and growth.
Rather than wallowing in regret or wailing about what we missed, we can focus on learning and growing. We give ourselves a break. We embrace forgiveness, both of ourselves and others.
We glance in the rearview mirror but gaze through the windshield. When we fail, we choose to fail forward.
Whatever season you find yourself in, one thing remains the same. You have a heart. It is your most prized possession. You must find ways to feed it, exercise it, and live from it, no matter what is happening around you.
Here are 5 important questions, no matter what season you're in:
- What season are you currently experiencing? How would you describe it?
- What is your mission in life? Why are you here? Be as succinct as possible.
- Given your mission, what are your priorities during this season?
- How can you invest more in your heart and in living from it?
- What and who do you sense would be most helpful to you this season
Seasons change. Rather than waiting for something to change, we can live each one to the full.
Every day is an opportunity. Let's make the most of it.
Gary Roe, M
ultiple award-winning author, speaker, and grief specialist Gary Roe
is a compassionate and trusted voice who has been bringing comfort, hope, encouragement, and healing to hurting, wounded hearts for more than 30 years. Click here to get his free eBook, Grief: 9 Things I Wish I Had Known
. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.