In our previous Wisdom Note, we continued our series called The Cycles and Seasons of Life, the Awakening of Spring. This week we continue with preparing during spring. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to the blog to read past newsletters.
It’s time to head out on our trek for this week as we continue on with the spring season in the Cycles and Seasons of Life with the section titled…
The Constant, Predictable, Pattern of Change
The essence of springtime is faith woven among the threads of massive human effort. Springtime is the fresh air of new opportunity, amid the dissipating clouds of winter. Spring is the time for you to enter the bleak, empty fields given to you as a new chance. When you enter those fields, you see in the adjoining fields the blossoming of nature’s flowers—the daisies, and other miracles of nature, which God planted, reminding you now that nature fulfills its promises. Already, the miracle of the seasons shows itself, for the same snows that gave you cause to huddle for warmth during the winter also covered nature’s crops, which exist now before your eyes.
Expend your effort now, without complaint, without doubt, without pessimism, and without self-pity over the severity of your winter of circumstance. Did the daisies complain because of the same cold and the same winds? No, they did not, yet they exist as either a reminder, a threat, or a promise. Do the lilies hide beneath the cover of earth, fearing an unexpected return of winter, or do they restrain themselves for fear of the coming bugs and weeds of summer? Do the daisies or the lilies of the field of nature make excuses or lie or linger? They are there because they endured circumstance and pushed aside the seasonal obstacles of rocks and hard-packed soil, and so must you if your life is to blossom.
The same God who gave life and meaning and opportunity to the crops of nature now gives you the same blessings. Are you to say that you are less than a lily or a daisy? Do they have a brain or vision or choice? Do they converse one with another for the sharing of ideas? In His parable in Matthew 6:28-30, Jesus taught us, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
God does provide everything for you, but He does expect you to use your abilities as tools to fulfill His plan. Springtime merely says, “Here I am!” Springtime sends its life and its warmth. It sends you constant messages of its arrival—the robin, the squirrels, the return of the swallows, and the berries of the field for those whose own storehouses are empty. Springtime gives a smile to those who respond to its arrival and a tear for those who sit or who make only half an effort.
Some will work only a little—enough to give to themselves excuses for the meager results come the fall. Some will fish or play or sleep or lie among the wildflowers. Some will plant foolishly or quickly and not take the time to perform to the level of their capability or intelligence. Some will trust only in the God who brought forth the wildflowers, forgetting the admonition that “faith without works is dead.”
The warmth, the sun, and the fertile fields of the spring are but part of the formula for achievement; the catalyst that produces the final result is intense, honest, and consistent human effort, and therein lies the problem. As a human, you are given free will—the right to choose; the right to use discipline or not use it; the choice to act with courage or huddle in fear; the choice to think or respond out of habit.
When we are given a free choice, more often than not, we choose to rest, or we choose half an effort, or we choose a convenient excuse. Sometimes we choose to remain indoors because of its comfort or by a brook rather than in the field, knowing that the intelligence that lets us perform well will also let us lie well or excuse ourselves well or blame circumstances well. Above all, the gift of human intelligence and the freedom of choice that accompanies it is not a blessing but a curse, for it allows us to even fool and lie to ourselves, which is the height of ignorance.
Choose action, not rest. Choose truth, not fantasy. Choose a smile, not a frown. Choose love, not animosity. Choose the good in life in all things, and choose the opportunity as well as the chance to work when springtime smiles on your life.
Much of the effort and opportunity of springtime rests in the depth and degree of your faith. Life provides no assurances that the planting of seeds will provide the reaping of crops. We have only the demonstrated experiences of others to draw upon. The storms of life could cancel your efforts expended in the fields of opportunity. But to expend no effort during the spring will assure no results during the fall.
Faith further provides to you an irrevocable law decreed in heaven which assures that for every disciplined human effort, you will receive multiple rewards…For each cup planted, a bushel reaped…For every good idea given to another, many shall be given to you in return…For every demonstrated act of faith, a multiplicity of the rewards…For every act of love given, a life of love in return…For each seed of encouragement given to another, a gathering of the honest effort expended during the spring and an hour of honest rest in the fall…For each act of patience and understanding rendered to another, a return of patience from another when your own acts give cause for disappointment.
It is the promise of spring that as you plant, so will you also harvest. If you plant lies, you will harvest lies; plant greed, harvest poverty; plant inactivity, harvest an empty storehouse; choose to procrastinate, and surely an infant giant will grow to become a monster rendering your future action ineffective.
The act of planting during the warm breezes of spring requires that you exert the pain of human discipline. Being unwilling to do so assures that in the coming fall, you shall surely experience the greater pain of regret—the difference is that the pain of discipline weighs ounces, and the pain of regret weighs tons. You must either plant during the springtime of life or beg from others during the fall.
A kernel of corn produces its own kind. A seed of doubt, or fear, or distrust placed in the mind also produces after its own kind. As certainly as the soil gives back the same kind that which you place into it, so also does your mind give back in the human circumstance that which you place into it by your choice of human thought. The price or effort of thinking thoughts of love, prosperity, or self-confidence is no greater than the price given to thoughts of hate, poverty, or self-doubt. Only the rewards are different.
Each day is given to you as a new season of spring. The thoughts, deeds, dreams, and efforts of today will provide tomorrow’s harvest. To neglect the opportunity given to you this day is to delay your better future. Do not use today to mentally re-live yesterday or to await the arrival of tomorrow, for tomorrow— when it arrives—will be called today. There will be no better day, no better opportunity, no better springtime, no better time to begin than the current moment. Seize the moments as you find them, and mold them into your own better future. Today’s procrastination will surely be tomorrow’s regret.
For some, the emergence of springtime is a time of great difficulty. Perhaps because of your own neglect or inactivity of past seasons, you find your storehouse and your stomachs empty. Your need for food or monies is not in the coming fall…but now. The voices of those you love echo their needs brought about by your lack of effort or results, and their eyes look away from you, lest you detect the shame and disappointment shown in them.
Under circumstances such as these, you are often given to forgetting that the seasons will neither speed up nor slow down because of your needs. The springtime will only appear, but it will not wait, nor will it transform seed into harvest. As always, the seed, as well as your needs, must await the changing seasons. You cannot ask nature for an advance. Talent, need, desire, and prayer are meaningless to those suffering the painful consequences of earlier neglect. With your empty stomachs, barren storehouse, and great regret you must enter the fields during this spring, for to neglect once again because of your demeaning circumstances is to assure a continuance of the current conditions.
Finally, become wise enough to recognize the faint glimmerings of the springtimes of life which manifest themselves each day. Take advantage of the opportunity to listen to the words of those wiser than yourself…The opportunity to lift a child upon your knee. The opportunity to walk a beach with someone you love. The opportunity to absorb the value of a good book. The opportunity to speak good things about someone when habit prompts you to find fault. The opportunity to watch the hummingbirds, or the flowers, or a butterfly perform its strange miracle.
Seize the infrequent opportunity to do nothing for a change or something for a change. Force yourself to turn off the television or computer, and embrace the opportunity for having a family conversation—or even silence. Opportunity surrounds us all, appearing and disappearing just as fast, leaving behind fond memories to those who responded to its appearance, or regret to those who were then too busy to bother.
Life is truly a constant beginning, a constant opportunity, and a constant springtime. You need only to learn to look once again at life as you did as a child, letting fascination and curiosity give you a welcome cause for taking a second look, rather than taking for granted. Fortune, happiness, and peace of mind await those who learn to look for the miraculous hidden among the common. The unique blending of sun, soil, and seed at the springtime of seasons will provide predictable and miraculous results for those who will learn to take full and complete advantage of the spring.
This has been a rather lengthy trail on today’s trek, but it is one that we really need to take to heart and to consider and understand. The immutable laws of planting and harvesting are set by God and cannot be changed or violated any more than we can override the law of gravity. When you grasp this concept, then you can direct and achieve a rich and satisfying life.
Next week’s Wisdom Notes we will change our season to summer, and focus on the growth of summer. Encourage your friends and family to join us on our 5-days a week podcast: Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.