Give Yourself To The Season

Let me begin by saying that this post will share with you something that has become very close to my heart. My story pertains mostly to church life, however, now in my mid-twenties I face similar lessons in business – and I am certain this post will be applicable to most people in most life situations.

As everyone knows, our childhood is spent wanting to be older. And as the more ambitious and aspirational of you will know, it often doesn’t stop after teens but continues throughout every stage of life. At some point, the pointer tips the other way, and our desire turns to a longing to be younger. Whether it’s a different age, location or station in life that we desire, it seems to be a dissatisfaction, either big or small, with the current season that we are in.

When I was 16 and beginning to discover my desire to be a pastor and a preacher, I was disillusioned with visions of grandeur – of being a world class preacher, with a giant church and miracles following me everywhere – all within a few weeks. My latter teenage years were filled with the continual frustration of never being where I wanted to be – always looking away to a future where I was fulfilling all my dreams – and not understanding why I wasn’t fulfilling them now. This frustration could’ve been useful and productive if it spurred me on to study harder, to help people more, to seek advice more, yet I found it was detrimental, for it only discouraged me. Rather than preparing, I’d spend my time agonising over the ‘why nots’ and reasons that my dreams were not being actualised immediately.

Of course, I wasn’t completely stifled. Perhaps I exaggerate when I say “it only discouraged me” – but we all know what it is like to be distracted by the future and not focus on the present. And I found that day to day it wasn’t a problem, but there would be particular times, particular pressures, particular issues, that would bring out this behaviour.

After a good while my Pastor, Michael, sat me down and gave what has been one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received or even heard. It went like this:

Scott, you are in a season of preparation and planning for the future. Give yourself to the season.

I don’t even know if he knew the weight of what he’s said, but it rang true in my ears the moment those words left his lips, and instantly I had a change of mind.

Give yourself to the season. You are never a teenager at high school again – don’t wish those years away but enjoy the life with little responsibility. You are unlikely to be at college and university again, and certainly not again in the strength of your teens and early twenties – so maximise your studying, suck the marrow out of the educational environment you are in, thrive in learning. As my wife and I celebrated our fourth anniversary in June this year I was reminded again that the season of marriage without children will soon end, and we will no longer have the dexterity and flexibility of time to give to business, church and spare-of-the-moment whims.

I recently celebrated the first anniversary of Aaron+Gould, yet amidst the joy of successfully navigating a start-up in the midst of a recession, again there was the frustration of not being where I want the agency to be. Yes, it’s good to have vision, drive and a good sense of ambition, but my reminder to myself, despite how much I’ve learned about ‘faking it till you make it’, I have to tell myself to give myself to the season of start-up – not the season of award-winning agency.

Also, the advice wasn’t just enjoy the season or make it through the season; it was give yourself to it. Dedicate yourself to fulfilling the requirements, getting the right outcomes, to gain from this season what needs to be gained in order to move on the next one, and not have to waste time by returning to it.

As I said in starting, this is close to my heart, but this is only my experience over 25 years. I’m keen to know how you’ve found this to be true, if not, whether you disagree and why, and if you have any tips on giving yourself to the season.

Photo courtesy of ViaMoi

Archived Comments

  • Robin_Dickinson

    Welcome back Scott,

    I trust you gave yourself to your holiday season!

    One of the great challenges of ‘giving yourself to the season’, is the recognition of the fact there are seasons. The ever-on of the online environment is causing a separation of humans from the inbuilt cycles or seasons of the natural world.

    Nothing in nature is built to be ever-on at the same intensity. There are cycles internally and externally – life cycles, biochemical cycles, circadian rhythms, reproductive cycles and seasons. Farmers understand fallow. Birds “understand” migration. Animals “understand” to hibernation. Humans, like all living creatures, have a life-cycle of birth, growth, senescence and death.

    This ‘seasonality’ has been inbuilt for good reason. It’s a fantastic design feature that allows renewal, replenishment and refreshment.

    We need to reclaim our “seasonality” and not let the ever-on world of perpetual growth fueled by eternal dissatisfaction, corrupt this fragile balance.

    Just a thought starter,

    Best, Robin

  • Robin_Dickinson

    Welcome back Scott,

    I trust you gave yourself to your holiday season!

    One of the great challenges of ‘giving yourself to the season’, is the recognition of the fact there are seasons. The ever-on of the online environment is causing a separation of humans from the inbuilt cycles or seasons of the natural world.

    Nothing in nature is built to be ever-on at the same intensity. There are cycles internally and externally – life cycles, biochemical cycles, circadian rhythms, reproductive cycles and seasons. Farmers understand fallow. Birds “understand” migration. Animals “understand” to hibernation. Humans, like all living creatures, have a life-cycle of birth, growth, senescence and death.

    This ‘seasonality’ has been inbuilt for good reason. It’s a fantastic design feature that allows renewal, replenishment and refreshment.

    We need to reclaim our “seasonality” and not let the ever-on world of perpetual growth fueled by eternal dissatisfaction, corrupt this fragile balance.

    Just a thought starter,

    Best, Robin

  • alexgreen

    I agree, you can enjoy things much more by living in the present.

    For me it all starts here: Hebrews 13:5
    …be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

    and here: 1 Timothy 6:6

    Godliness with contentment is great gain.

    Living by those two verses alone, has certainly given me more peace and joy.

  • alexgreen

    I agree, you can enjoy things much more by living in the present.

    For me it all starts here: Hebrews 13:5
    …be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

    and here: 1 Timothy 6:6

    Godliness with contentment is great gain.

    Living by those two verses alone, has certainly given me more peace and joy.

  • bendawe

    Thanks Scott. I like your momentum and engagement here. I found the context of your Pastor’s quote interesting – “…planning for the future”. From your post my main take away is this: perseverance is the servant of vision. Vision engages the grunt muscles to fire up into stubborn effort. As the good book says “For the joy set before him…”
    cheers
    Ben

  • bendawe

    Thanks Scott. I like your momentum and engagement here. I found the context of your Pastor’s quote interesting – “…planning for the future”. From your post my main take away is this: perseverance is the servant of vision. Vision engages the grunt muscles to fire up into stubborn effort. As the good book says “For the joy set before him…”
    cheers
    Ben

  • Scott Gould

    Robin, thanks for the warm welcome!

    “Nothing in nature is built to be ever-on at the same intensity” – awesome statement, and one worthy of its own blog post. This the cause, I guess, of burnt out, and why we need to rest, switch off, as well as recognise what season we are in and therefore where our efforts are best applied.

    Awesome addition, one that is very pertinent

  • Scott Gould

    Robin, thanks for the warm welcome!

    “Nothing in nature is built to be ever-on at the same intensity” – awesome statement, and one worthy of its own blog post. This the cause, I guess, of burnt out, and why we need to rest, switch off, as well as recognise what season we are in and therefore where our efforts are best applied.

    Awesome addition, one that is very pertinent

  • Scott Gould

    Ben, thanks for the comment – I like your point “perseverance is the servant of vision” – a new quote I think!

  • Scott Gould

    Ben, thanks for the comment – I like your point “perseverance is the servant of vision” – a new quote I think!

  • Vince McConville

    Hi Scott,

    I’m a firm believer in “Phases” in life. We enjoyed our “Life without Kids” Phase to the full, as you should too! But don’t put it of too long because the “Life with Kids” certainly brings it rewards. (Thankfully we’ve passed the “nappy & sleepless nights” phase! )

    Cheers

    Vince

  • Vince McConville

    Hi Scott,

    I’m a firm believer in “Phases” in life. We enjoyed our “Life without Kids” Phase to the full, as you should too! But don’t put it of too long because the “Life with Kids” certainly brings it rewards. (Thankfully we’ve passed the “nappy & sleepless nights” phase! )

    Cheers

    Vince

  • Scott Gould

    I’m listening to the advice, Vince!

  • Scott Gould

    I’m listening to the advice, Vince!

  • http://twitter.com/changememe Louise McGregor

    Very true; I tend to rush at things, and a good friend reminded me once as I was complaining about people not getting it “everything finds its own rhythm” which has become a similar mantra for me.

    Thanks for the post.

  • http://twitter.com/changememe Louise McGregor

    Very true; I tend to rush at things, and a good friend reminded me once as I was complaining about people not getting it “everything finds its own rhythm” which has become a similar mantra for me.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Scott Gould

    Thanks for the comment Louise

    Glad to hear that it’s not just me rushing it all the time!

  • Scott Gould

    Thanks for the comment Louise

    Glad to hear that it’s not just me rushing it all the time!

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