I’ve become a bit of a hippie, thanks in part to some great books about the advantages of eating local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Simply put – produce grown locally is generally allowed to ripen for a longer time (increasing nutrition and flavor), supports your local community farmers, and reduces carbon emissions from airline or tractor trailer delivery.
However, the biggest difficulty I’ve found with eating this way is the inability to have any item I want anytime I want it. For instance, apples don’t ripen in May in my part of the world. Neither do mangos in December, asparagus in October, or basil in January. I have had to learn to take advantage of each season and fully enjoy the produce that grows during those times.
Last week I was ecstatic to see the first bags of okra on the stands! (Yes, I’m easily amused.) My family really loves okra and has missed it for months now.
But what I’d really love to do is incorporate these eating lessons into my spiritual life. I’d like to learn to be ecstatic with each new life season that comes along instead of breaking the bank or the planet or my Father’s heart by trying to get something that is not right or best for me at that time.
I often find myself becoming impatient with the roles and situations God places in my life. I try to wiggle away from them or jump ahead of God’s plan or simply refuse to participate in the portion of the journey I’m in. It’s especially easy for me to look at the seasons that others are in and wish I was… eating their mangos. Comically, when I talk to these people about the season they are in, they often admit wishing they could have some of my asparagus! We all know that the grass is not always greener, but it often looks that way.
I pray to understand that the Lord has called me to specialize in, agonize over, pray through and even delight in today’s season. I know if I do, there will be phenomenal lessons to learn and gifts to develop and an understanding of Him to grasp that I would not receive if I skipped ahead or tried to ignore this time in my life.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5-6).