Each season—Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring—has its own characteristics. People prefer different seasons for different reasons. But really, it’s a matter of perspective, right? I mean, someone’s favorite (or least favorite) season is based on what he or she chooses to focus on. We can dislike any season if we choose to focus only on the negative aspects of that season. In the same way, we can learn to love any season if we focus on positive aspects of that season.
The middle of winter. You go outside. Your bones immediately chill. The cold is relentless. Its indifference angers you. Everything is the same color. Gray. Everything is dead. Animals are hiding. No noise, aside from the creaking and cracking of the trees. Ready to snap. Even the sun goes into hiding. Darkness comes too soon. Dark. Dead. Gray. Cold. Winter. You hate winter.
The middle of winter. You sit by the fireplace. Warm cider in hand. Blankets draped over your shoulders. Your soul is warm. The smell of cinnamon. Of pine. Of cloves. Of sugar. It’s intoxicating. Family surrounds you. Their laughs. Their company. Their familiarity. It brings you joy. It brings you comfort. Comfort. Joy. Food. Warmth. Winter. You love winter.
In life, we go through different seasons. Some are longer than others, but they’re seasons. We can choose to hate the season we’re in, or we can choose to embrace the positive in that season. Choose to see the good.
But what if there’s literally nothing good about the season in which you find yourself? It could be that you should have moved past that season but you’re still living as if you’re in it. Wearing your coat in the summer, to keep the metaphor going. Or it could be that you’re trying so hard to move to the next season that you’re not living in the present one. Wearing shorts and a tank top in the middle of winter, in desperate anticipation of summer. Be present.
“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22, NIV).
As wine ages and ferments, it stretches the wineskin in which it’s contained. If you put new wine in old [already stretched] skin, you’ll burst the skin. Likewise, you can’t try to fit new circumstances [a new season] into old ways of thinking. Change your ways of thinking. Change your perspective. Sure, you can put old wine into new wineskin (thinking about past seasons with new perspective), but you can’t stay there. No growth happens there. Only new wine in new wineskin grows and stretches.
Recognize the season you’re in. Stop dwelling on the past, and stop living in the future. Living and dwelling too much in past seasons can lead to depression. Living and dwelling too much in the future can lead to anxiety. Be present. If you don’t like the season you’re in, change your perspective. Choose to embrace the good. Choose to see the good.