Discerning a Word for the Season
Listening to God for an Intentional Life
Chronos, as the myth goes, was a man who gobbled up his children. If that isn’t a parable about how time swallows our tomorrows, I don’t know what is! “Tomorrow, tomorrow,” we keep saying, like Little Orphan Annie. We hope to have more time with our friends or make more memories with our children or pray more or get started on that house project . . . but tomorrow never comes. It gets gobbled up by the relentless march of chronological time.
Our toil must match the season. My father-in-law recently retired from farming. Over the years, he would do different chores on the farm in different seasons. In the spring, it was planting. In the summer, it was mowing and baling hay. In the fall, it was harvesting. But even in winter, there were specific chores that had to be done, like feeding the cattle and providing warm bedding for them. Sometimes, when the weather wasn’t too brutal, he would even walk around the farm fixing fences. He taught me that a wise farmer does the right work in the right season. A foolish farmer waits until he needs wood before chopping it.
We don’t want to wait until we’re burning out before we stop. We don’t want to hit a crossroads before we ask, ‘What is this season for?’ There are pregame decisions we can make so that other decisions will be easier. There are proactive rhythms that can help us live with purpose and peace.
Every season has limitations and invitations. There are things God is asking us to say no to and things he is inviting us to say yes to. There are limitations we must accept and opportunities we must step out into.
The best way to know if our work fits the season we’re in is to seek the Lord for a word for the season.
A word for the year is a theme, a phrase, a word, or even a picture that serves as a headline, or banner, over the next season. It should describe what God is doing and how we can join in. It’s not a resolution or a goal. Those are focused on what we do.
A word for the year is a word from God—a sense, a nudge, an awareness of what he is up to and how we can partner with him.
God will reveal himself to us in a variety of ways as we intentionally quiet our hearts and wait on him.
We can learn to hear his voice by following a few simple practices…
[This is an adapted excerpt from “The Intentional Year": Simple Rhythms for Finding Freedom, Peace, and Purpose”. Pick up a copy today!]
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