|Lookout Mountain winding upwards, September 2012|
|Winding road to Lookout Mountain after heavy rains, Winter 2011|
"A crop is made by all the seasons and the only way to have it all — is not at the same time… but letting one season bring its yield into the next."
The photo above I made Sunday is a stark contrast to the one made one winter after a heavy rain. Same bend in the road, same time of day, but different scene. September marks a transition from summer growth and lush landscapes to autumn's glorious display before winter's starkness. The trickling stream hardly resembled the tumultuous waterfall I had visited earlier.
Sometimes life comes at us with the rushing force of water washing over us as we struggle to come up for air. Other seasons, we thirst, languishing in an inability to move forward at all.
We seek direction.
We need propulsion to move to the next step for we do not even know what that means--the next step.
To grow, to flourish in all the seasons of life means adapting to the rhythm that is inherent in this life. There are periods of rapid growth with spurts and growing pains, and there are times of dormancy.
Times of industry and times of inactivity. Each is necessary for the healthy cycle of life.
It is tempting in our culture to value the industry phases for their productivity and to disdain what appears to be unproductive time. We sell ourselves short when we fail to embrace the opportunities that come to us in times of waiting. The setting of buds for the coming spring happens without any outward sign that work is taking place. We, too, can prepare for the next season by anticipating what is needed and making time to seek direction.
Contemplation and prayer are quiet works of the soul. They are essential to our spiritually healthy lives. We may crowd them out in times of stress and frenzied activity, for they do not demand their own way; yet, we deprive ourselves of food for our anxious hearts and hurried souls if we neglect them. Times of waiting and discerning the next step--times that may appear to be dormant or inactive for us--can yield a bountiful harvest of grace-filled moments when we choose to invest time and energy in prayerful pursuits.
What looks idle or dormant in one season of life may in fact be a time of surging growth as the heart and soul prepare to thrive in the next step.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1