Happy Thanksgiving. It’s a blessing to give thanks as we transition from a season of growth and renewal to a more dormant time to appreciate abundance. As individuals, we go through these transitions just as businesses go through life cycles. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Sometimes, events transpire so quickly that either can happen in the blink of an eye.
I’m reminded of so many heart-breaking catastrophes and events this year. When we pause to give thanks, those experiencing shock and grief make our hearts heavy. And yet, Nature always takes the initiative to make things better, life renews, the sun stills rises and the rain falls to nurture. And people have the opportunity for second chances, to begin again, to rise above, to carry on.
My thoughts return frequently to a quote from Rick Warren that I’ve kept close in recent years:
“You always reap in a different season than you sowed. You sow in one season and then you reap the benefit in another season. You can go plant a seed today, dig it uptomorrow, and there will be no difference. But if you let it settle, slowly it will grow and produce. That’s the faith portion of the waiting period in God’s economy.”
Where is the patience needed for the time between planting and reaping? We want everything NOW. We want a full bed of flowers, a fully formed tomato, the house built in record time. We want to short circuit childhood to become adults. We won’t take the time to experience the journey of waiting and the lessons it teaches. In a world of twitters and texts, we want immediate reaction, instant answers, instant gratification.
And then, there comes a day when it’s the season to prune, to rid of dead growth, to enable more abundance. Pruning is ugly. Pruning is painful and forces change and discipline. Pruning is not for new growth. Pruning is not for children. Pruning is required after long-term growth, in older trees and plants, in older businesses, in adults.
So why did we rush through childhood? Why is it more important to get to the end than to enjoy the journey? As adults we want no part of pruning. When our growth exceeds structure, compromises our health and well-being, overshadows and overwhelms new growth and renewal, we push back. We block pruning at all costs. We hate change. What a shame. We are fighting the natural cycle of life, shooting ourselves in the foot, preventing all hope of healthy progress. See WAIT!
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy. We can none of us step into the same river twice, but the river flows on and the other river we step into is cool and refreshing too,” W. Somerset Maugham.
“People wait. They wait for the elusive day when they’ll finally have enough time (guess what? – you never will), enough education (there’s always more to know), enough money (no matter how much you make, someone will always have more) . . . People wait until that fateful day when they wake up and realize that while they were sitting around paying dues, earning their keep, waiting for that elusive ‘perfect time’ their entire life has passed them by,” The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton.
What pruning do you need to do? What is preventing you from moving forward? What seeds have you sown that you are reaping now? What are you waiting to reap? What nurture are you gifting to what is already planted? Does it have the air and space and food to grow on its own? What are you rushing to pull from the ground before it’s fully grown? What seeds are you sowing to reap in years to come? What will be left behind when your Season is over?
I sow these seeds as food for thought. My blessings for a grateful, grace-filled Thanksgiving.
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3
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