This piece I originally wrote in April 2014 and my golly how much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same now 3 years later.
In the past year, I have attended numerous weddings, baby showers, job promotion celebrations and farewells and yet much of this piece rings true today.
In the past month, I have attended a farewell for an old job and a new job overseas, an engagement party and received 2 invites for upcoming weddings. Maybe it's because I'm in my mid-twenties and my friendships are changing, or maybe this is a change of season. Maybe it's because I'm in my mid-twenties and my friendships are changing, or maybe this is a change of season.
In the past week, I have dealt with torrential rain, thunderstorms, hot sunny days and chilly windy mornings. Maybe it's because I live in Sydney and the weather is deciding to keep us on our toes, or maybe this is a change of season.
In Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1 – 8 (ESV) it reads:
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a 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 together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing."
Despite knowing that seasons are bound to change – isn't it always interesting how easily we're still surprised when it happens? (I know I constantly am)
So the question begs - how then as a Christian and leader in our world do we stay on the front foot when seasons around us are changing and not lose ourselves in the battle of comparison?
1. Realise and be content that you won't know what the future holds
In Proverbs 3 verse 5 (NIV) it says; "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" and in Isaiah 55 verses 8 – 9 (NIV) it says; "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Personally, I can get all caught up and stressed out when I do life in my own strength (Perhaps this is due to the inherent characteristics as a project manager or growing up in a society that is constantly telling us to be more independent).
I however have realised over time that I will never know the future. Despite the vast array of technology on hand or analysis on data that is evolving – each new day is not guaranteed and "his mercies are new every morning" (Lamentations 3 verses 22 – 23). If this is the case and that is what I believe, then why stress out about the future and comparing myself to others – when I will never figure it out until it is the right time?
2. Realise and trust that God does
In Daniel 2 verse 27 (ESV) it says; "He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding" and in Acts 1 verse 7 (ESV) it says; He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority."
Without daily getting into the word, I can easily forget that God has my future under control and whether or not I see the whole picture I can trust him. On timeless occasions from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Job to Jesus himself – God never failed, so what makes me think he's going to fail now; if he is the same yesterday, today and forever.
These two simple, yet profound thoughts have recently challenged and comforted me during a season of change. From friends getting married, moving overseas and big decisions being made in my own career and family – faith wouldn't be faith after all, if it didn't require some leaping moments and patience being tested moments from time to time.
Meenal Chandra is a Sydney based writer who, in the midst of busy season and a chaotic global outlook is choosing to stay focused on what is true, noble and loving.
Meenal Chandra previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html