Items of clothing which have languished in the dark recesses of my wardrobe are preparing to see the light of day for the first time in many moons, before they make the move to someone else's closet. For too long they have made mine feel falsely complete when it should have been in a state of flux, the old making way for the new. Too many times have I found myself staring at a cupboard full of clothes bemoaning the fact that I have nothing to wear. My sartorial friends, I know you feel me when I say: it is time for a new season.
The thing about seasons is, they change seasonally (I know. Ground breaking stuff...bear with me). After an expected period of time our season changes and we know what to do. The old makes way for the new. We swap heaters for air conditioners, warm boots for sandals, scarves for sunscreen. When it comes to physical seasons, we know how to prepare.
With the seasons of our lives however, we do not always do so well. Transitions see us swing on the pendulum of reactions: from holding onto our season for dear life, willing it not to change, to pushing forward into the next season with such alacrity that we hurt ourselves trying – and lose out on the lessons of the season we are in.
Seasons are here to teach us something. Often they confer wisdom that, should we ignore it, leaves us ill-equipped to fight the next battle and reign the next level of terrain we are called to traverse. They take time. "Rush" is the enemy of "wait", which is often where wisdom hides, seeking those who want to find it. Like an athlete, seasons of training lead to developments that come into play on the field of life, where it is not what we say but how we play which determines whether we win the game.
What is this season training you for? Learn what you need to take with you for the next thing before you have to learn it the hard way. Let the lessons of each season develop in you until they have run their course and are built into who you are. Maturity is to character what muscle memory is to the body. It builds what you are out of who you were, turns you into a stronger person than you thought you could be and helps you lift the heavy obstacles that once blocked your road.
We do not build this bulk for nothing, merely to put it on display. Strength is not there to be flaunted, it is there to be used. And we must use it in our everyday life to be of service to the One who called us, and to those into whose lives we sow it.
Some may call it the "stretch", but in the wise words of Miley Cyrus (someone I don't quote often), I like to call it "The Climb".
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer.
Garce's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html