I recently checked out a book from the library by Dr. Denis Waitley entitled, Timing Is Everything--Turning Your Seasons of Success Into Maximum Opportunities. It has given me a fresh perspective on the season of winter. Dr. Waitley expresses the importance of using winter as a season of planning. Obviously, our life cycle may not mirror the actual seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter, but whenever winter lands in our lives it is time for planning.
I have been quite active in my planning for the weeks ahead in regard to visiting parishes, leading retreats, presenting parish missions, and preaching at weekend Eucharistic liturgies. Having numerous events scheduled in a short time frame requires diligent attention to preparation long before the events arrive. I remain hopeful that the time spent planning and preparing will empower me to actively sow good seed. I trust the Master of the Harvest to nurture the seed and bring forth good and abundant fruit.
I have also been actively engaged in planning with regard to my own spiritual journey. How will 2015 be utilized to grow in holiness? I have made some specific "goals" related to spiritual practices. I realize that I don't want my spiritual quest to be a matter of goals and objectives to be pursued. Instead, I want to create a life destined for a personal encounter with the living God. In order for me to do this well I know I need some parameters within which to work. Having goals tends to support my efforts of productive self-discipline so that I remain constant in my prayer study, and service. (Or at least my lack of self-discipline may not be as visible if I have objectives in place.)
As I get older time really does seem to go by faster and faster. There is a sense of urgency that I feel now that I have not always experienced in the past. "The Kingdom of God is at hand" resonates more profoundly with each passing season of my life, and the desire to do my part to build up the Kingdom grows more intense each year. I yearn to walk in grace so that I may grow in holiness myself and to also serve as an instrument of bringing God's love to others. There are still too many occasions when I fail to do this well. Thus, I rely on God's mercy and forgiveness.
The pictures above are from October 9, 2014 and January 12, 2015 respectively. The vibrant colors exhibited three months ago have given way to bare limbs with just a covering of ice from the freezing fog which had settled into the area. While I prefer to center my gaze on the colorful picture of autumn, I understand that each season has a purpose and is a gift from God!
How are you utilizing the seasons of your life for maximum spiritual growth?