The start of every year is filled with purpose, promise, renewed hope and new plans. It is easy to dream in January. But often for me, as the busyness train toots is horn and leaves the station I find myself running to keep up with it, struggling to get on and beginning to doubt all of the promise of a new year. How on earth is one to fit all of the mundane into such a glorious life?!
New hopes are quickly overshadowed by school lunches, kindy drop offs, dance class sign ups, work and the reflective space over summer quickly dissipates to a distant dream.
When you are on the ‘busyness train’ it is easy. You know where the stops are, where the places of rest and refreshment are. You know when to endure and hang on and when to stop and enjoy the scenery. The trip (or life) becomes methodical, almost autopilot and there is an ease. I find comfort in a familiar routine even if it is high paced.
Somehow I seem to forget how the transition from rest to back to the daily grind affects me every year. When February rolls around I am filled with navel gazing, grumpiness and sadly doubting God. In the last few weeks even my prayers had become washy as authority and boldness began to cower at indecision and a general misdirected ‘woe is me’ attitude.
That is until God stepped in.
Through this process of processing- is that a thing? I found some gems and did some redirecting.
Firstly I repented of being so self focussed. A beautiful young woman once said that we should never confuse our blessings with burdens- how true.
Soon after this I found myself in my daughters first dance class. I watched her face light up in pure delight as she put on her make believe crown (for posture) and entered into a beautiful imaginary world, dancing like a ‘real ballerina,’ I was filled with more sense of purpose in that moment than I’d ever felt before. It is the simple things, the regular things, like being a mum that I so often overlook and undervalue.
And lastly when I penned the words ‘I just want to be fruitful,’ during my devotions one morning I began to read in Mark 11.
13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (Mark 11, NKJV)
I was hit with the truth that being fruitful doesn’t necessarily mean seeing fruit.
If I was really honest I was frustrated because we were four weeks into the new year and I wanted to see fruit. If I can’t see it I must be doing something wrong right?
But no, there is a season for everything. Naturally speaking for a fruit tree producing fruit is actually a relatively small part of the year. Perhaps my current season is to be watered, or to dig my roots down, or to just get strong in the wind. Who knows? What I do know is that Jesus changed my perspective as I read those words.
There is a promise found in Psalm 1 which echoes the thought:
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 NKJV
So for today it is well with my soul. I trust in the All Knowing, and rest that I am on the right path.
I am ready to get back on the train with a fresh set of insights and patience to see the seasons through for He is faithful.
How is your year starting out?
What sort of season is it for you?