It’s downright chilly outside this morning. Kind of unusual for Tulsa in early September. We don’t really start feeling cooler weather until nearer October.
It’s interesting how the weather fluctuates between seasons. When you are at the end of summer, but autumn hasn’t yet begun–some days it feels like summer, and some days it feels like fall, like nature can’t quite make up its mind.
We have four seasons, and we identify a certain type of climate with each of them. But if you think of it, at least four other times of the year, we are transitioning between seasons. How stark the difference is between seasons often depends on where you live on the planet…but there are these four times of the year when nature can’t seem to decide.
I think that we go through seasons in our life journey as well, and in our journey with God. They don’t necessarily cycle in fours, and they certainly don’t follow the timetable of our calendar (dang it). But these seasons exist. And because they do change, you sometimes find yourself in that in-between place. Some days it feels like summer, and some days like fall–and some days it feels like both, or neither. Some people call this “transition.” And when you’re someone who tends to like predictability…transition can be very uncomfortable. Especially when it goes on and on….
I specifically feel as though I’ve been between seasons all year. I feel like there’s something new on the horizon that I can’t quite see or touch, and yet all the while the same-old-same-old has become increasingly intolerable. We’re sci-fi nuts in our family, so sometimes I’ve used the analogy of a “decompression chamber” to describe what I feel–like the change in environment is so stark that we have to go into one of those little rooms where all the doors are shut, and we can experience the gradual change from one environment to another.
I sure wish these rooms were bigger, though. And I wish there were pictures on the walls or something.
This place feels so uncertain for me that I sometimes wonder if I’ve mis-stepped, somehow gotten away from my purpose, gotten away from the stream somehow. But then I look back and I see those doors closed behind me, doors that I didn’t pull shut. I remember that I’m not really in this place by choice, that I didn’t really walk away from anything.
But…if these doors behind me are shut, if that season is truly over…what’s keeping this door from opening in front of me?? Is something wrong? Is something blocking it? WHAT’S GOING ON??? CAN ANYONE HEAR ME OUT THERE???
Sorry…didn’t mean to shout. 🙂 And sorry for mixing up my metaphors. We were talking about seasons, weren’t we?
I guess I’m using these things to try and describe how this feels. There are days when I wish for the joy of the past season, and there are days when I look with hope to the joys of the next season. But lots of the time, I just feel like nothing around me is familiar anymore. And personally, I hate that feeling.
I feel like there is no longer any life in past seasons, that if I try to gravitate back to them, I will find only death. But I feel increasingly frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be anything yet to replace that old season. I’m just in this in-between place, where stuff is apparently not in my control, and I’m just along for the ride.
Those who have been reading this blog for awhile…you remember I’m a recovering control freak, don’t you? 🙂 ARRRGGGGH! (No…I better not pound this table. I might need that hand later.)
Ultimately, I guess that’s the issue. We don’t really control the seasons; we have to trust God with them. We can pray, we can seek for the answers (and we should). But at the end of the day, it comes down to trust. More and more, I’ve come to realize that true faith–that is, trust–is more about the unknowns and the apparent contradictions. We don’t just believe God for the things we want to happen–we trust Him with the unknowns, with the things that don’t make sense.
God doesn’t abandon us in the in-between times–even when He doesn’t seem to be quick to answer our many questions. He’s here with me, and this much I do know. I know He’s with me, and I know He sees the big picture, and I know He’s steering this ship that is my life. So for however long I am in between seasons, or in the decompression chamber, or wherever the heck I am…I must choose daily to trust Him with the unknowns, and with the things beyond my control–to lean my very life and soul upon him, day to day. This, to me, is what living by faith is about.
And if I’m reading the Bible correctly…faith isn’t just about the in-between seasons. This is how the just shall live.