It seems as though great seasons end too quickly and terrible ones linger. In New York, the winter seems long. The month of August seems eternal. But the in-betweens, when the weather is cool and a day walking through the city is pleasant and refreshing, seem like they last two short weeks.
It is the same in the “seasons” of our lives. When we are really in a grove, loving where we are and what we are doing, time seems to race by. And before we know it, the season is ending. Sometimes it seems to come straight out of nowhere. But in seasons of drought, of long-suffering and pain, each day feels as though it drags its heels.
One thing is certain. Seasons change. Every season, good or bad, comes to an end. It is jarring to move from one season to the next. It can be discombobulating to transfer from one circumstance to another. It is almost like we have to relearn life every few years, our setting and our friend groups and our role in the company make dramatic changes.
See The Future
The important thing about changing seasons is to be aware of their inevitability. We try to hold on to those glorious seasons for as long as possible and rush through the painful ones.
We hate change when things are going well and are obsessed with change when things are going badly. But no matter how we feel or what is going on, every season is temporary. If we are struggling, change means trading one set of problems for a new set. It might be a little better at first (maybe WAY better), but struggle and triumph are cyclical. There is no finish line. Circumstances will hurt and will feel good, both today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
The key to a full life is not finding the right season and planting there. This is impossible even if it was right. The world spins and we must spin with it. Our circumstances are going to change.
The true measure of success is not finding the set of circumstances that work for you. It is not living in one kind of season forever. If we think that way, we will miss the opportunities of the deep snow and the blazing heat.
Success is a matter of character, not circumstance. The one thing we carry with us into our menagerie of seasons is our identity. It is the one thing we cannot get rid of. The one thing that will follow us throughout the journey of life.
As such, a meaningful life comes through the development of meaningful character. A jerk is going to be a jerk even if he wins the lottery or scores the winning touchdown. I used to be frustrated and jealous when jerks reached seasons of triumph. But I would much rather be wise in the midst of pain than a jerk in the midst of triumph. The jerk can never escape himself. And that is sad.
Throughout life’s changing seasons, take the opportunity to be something better than a jerk. Your circumstances, your seasons, won’t do it for you. The decisions you make, the choices you steward develop your character. Your community and relationships influence who you are, but in the end it is up to you to own the character of your life. No matter the season.