I went out to the garage to find my youngest son’s rain boots. I did a quick overview of his bin of shoes.
No rain boots.
So I dug deeper and searched broader.
I found sneakers that no longer fit. I found sandals. I found cowboy boots. I found a left shoe with no match. I found a right shoe with no match.
Still no rain boots.
Finally, I settled on snow boots for him to wear as we went out to get the chicken eggs.
In the search, I recognized that we had shoes, and a ridiculous amount of clothes, of all seasons in a tight space in the garage that is supposed to be tidy and organized so you can easily find your shoes.
The space is far from tidy and organized, as the picture so clearly shows.
My initial reaction was frustration and anger because why can’t the kids just put their shoes in the proper place?! Although, I have tripped over my shoes many times because I do the same thing…I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
But as I looked at the sandals and the winter boots, the sun hat and the toboggan, the light jacket and the winter coat, I realized that the blend between the two seasons is a representation of where I am in life right now. And of where so many of us are in life right now.
We are not where we were. We are not yet where we are going.
Back in September, 6 months ago, I wrote a post called, “The In-Between,” where I said that I had big goals for the future “and those big goals are just that – big and goals. They are not yet. They are what I am working towards. They are what I don’t actually know will happen. And they are far enough ahead that it seems like it might take forever to get there…if it ever does.”
And then I wrote, “The in-between is a means to growth.”
As I stood there and took in all of the mess of the garage, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that post. And be reminded of the scripture that went along with it…
God’s word ALWAYS has a scripture to go along with you…
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season…” Psalm 1:3 (emphasis mine).
By nature’s definition, we are in spring, and yet, there are still some mornings that we need our winter coats.
Just because we are entering into a new season of life, or have fully entered into it doesn’t mean that the tools and experience we learned from the last season aren’t valuable. They are, in fact, in-valuable.
Since I wrote The In-Between, some of those big goals are starting to come about. Speaking opportunities have arisen and there may be more on the horizon, but the experience that has taken place in the waiting – in the in-between – has been in-valuable
because there has been growth…
there has been progress…
and there is fruit that is starting to bud.
What about you? Are you firmly established in your “next season” or are you still in the “in-between?” Do you have winter boots from last season still hanging around while the sandals of the new season are there and ready, but haven’t been used yet?
As we walk into the new season, actual spring or a new season of your life, take time to reflect on what you experienced in the last season.
Jan Johnson says it well, “It’s not the experience that brings transformation, it’s our reflection upon our experience.”
So reflect on your last season…
Where were you at the start of that season – mentality, physically, spiritually, relationally?
And where are you now?
How did you grow?
What prompted that growth?
Is there an area where you stayed stagnant? If so, why?
What was a dream that you couldn’t get out of your head?
Have you done an action that gets you closer to that dream? If not, why?
What made your heart leap last season? What made it ache?
And after reflection upon the closing season, look ahead, what are you hoping for?
What are you longing for?
What areas of your life will you focus on so that growth will happen?
Whatever life held for you this past season, and whatever life will hold for you in this current season or your next, I am praying that you, and that I, will hold tighter still to the promise that God is with us through it all.
He will never leave us.
And if we remain faithful to God and what He has called us to do, or what He is calling us to do, we will bear fruit at just the right time…His time.
“[She] whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night…is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.” Psalm 1:2-3
God, as we reflect upon what was and we look ahead to what may be, may we be transformed into a person who looks more like you, in thought, in word, in deed.
All praise be to you, our Lord and King.