Some days I miss being back in school. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t miss those all night lab sessions or studying for exams. It is great to have a set schedule though. The school year starts in September and ends in May or June, and we move on to the next level at the end of that term. The transitions are clearly defined and it’s easy to track your progress. Real life, however, is not set up that way. Life flows in seasons instead of semesters.
God also works through the rhythms and seasons of life. Some days, I seem to be making great progress. On other days, I feel like I’m stuck in the same old routine and headed no where. That’s when I really feel discouraged. After going through a few rounds of this cycle, I’ve found some key principles that are helpful to remember.
- Know the THEME of your season. What is God teaching you in this season? This is the first thing you need to clarify. When you have the theme, write it down in big bold letters and journal about it. Any time you feel lost or frustrated, go back to this anchoring point. This will give you clarity during the times when you feel discouraged.
- Be diligent in doing your homework. God is very intentional and purposeful. When you face trials and tough situations, remember to keep your focus. Learn to see and evaluate any personal dilemma with your theme in mind. God is using these situations to help you grow in this area. Don’t procrastinate or try to wait until things are “more convenient” to work through any issues. If He reminds you to forgive, then forgive. If He asks you to give, then give. Learn what you need to learn now. Next season will have a different focus. Also, this season is a preparation for the next. Most of the time, the next season will build on what you’ve learned in this one. The more you grow in this season, the further you can go in the next season. If you delay in this season, you will delay your next season also.
- Know your progress. Have regular conversations with God about where you’re at in your progress. Are you behind or are you on track? Do you need to re-prioritize your commitments? Pay attention to the areas or projects where you feel an urgency and put those on top priority. God’s timing is perfect. Again, don’t procrastinate or lean on your own perception of timing and events. When you feel an urgency about a project, be diligent to work on those things first.
I’ve come to really enjoy how God moves organically through life. What I’m learning now is not just information, but real life experiences that change my outlook in life. I’ve recently shifted into a new season with a new theme. While the theme for my last season was “Rest”, it has become “Run!” in the new season. Even though the themes are vastly different, I will continue to remember my focus, do my homework, and check-in with God. What I’ve learned about Rest will help me Run faster and further.