I glance up from my desk at the infographic I drew last year. It’s taped to the pencil holder. “One Year with God,” I wrote across the top.
The months are drawn in small squares around a hub like spokes in a wheel, a cycle of moments, days, weeks all adding up to a year.
I am a very big-picture, sort of all-at-once thinker. I like to have all the pieces in plain view so I know where I’m going.
When I have that little piece of paper to refer to, it helps me center myself, see if I’m on track.
It only took me about 40 years to get a handle on this cycle–forty years of not living in a straight line, of watching life patterns and practices over time show up rather expectedly, like the seasons.
I need to make sense of my life, find some order in the disorder, pay attention to the God seasons—when they’re dry and quiet, when they’re verdant and noisy…they’re all part of the picture.
Truth be told I want it to always be winter (with Christmas of course, no White Witch allowed). I’d be like Emily Dickinson all shut up in my room with nothing but books and pen and paper my companions.
I’d write all day long, read and study God’s word, pore over old texts, spend time with the Psalms and the old guys—Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Herbert—relishing their words.
The snow would fall, I would drink tea. There would be a cozy fire.
But alas, one must live in the real world.
Spring and summer come each year and with them, growth and activity. There are parties and celebrations, multitudes of people. Gardens to tend to, tomatoes to harvest. Sunsets to enjoy, barbecues, camping, late nights by the ocean. One blessed glorious doing kind of thing after another.
No time to sit in the window seat and bask in the quiet, musing and reading. Time to be being. Thankfully, yes, all seasons change. Here’s how I’ve seen God order my days:
May through October is arced across the top, rainbow-shaped.
In all caps under the arc:
-OUT- SERVE- ‘DO what you know’
November through April, the bottom of the arc, u-shaped.
In all caps inside the U:
-IN-STUDY- ‘KNOW what to do’
So I ask myself—are you ‘on schedule’?
Because truth is I’m feeling a little loose around the edges—unsettled, unfocused, transitional.
And it occurs to me as the seasons change and Fall becomes more Fall-like, leaves yellow and fly, the world hushes with foggy mornings, colors fade and the sun sends itself home sooner that it is a twilight time coming onto October.
Softer, simpler, less busy times. I will settle in and sit and study and be still.
I think I’m right on schedule.
Oh! Jody, this is great! I love that: “Know what to do — do what you know.” Perfect. 🙂
thank you, Monica. The Holy Spirit drops the truth in AND is faithful to help me remember. Bless you.
I often have trouble with the “Know what to do” part…the rest is easy.
Eddy, the ‘Know what to do’ is just staying in God’s word and asking Him to speak to me………doesn’t mean I always get it! Hence, the cycle–He always manages to bring the lessons around again.
I tend to be quite organized, too. I totally get your division of the year, as you strive to balance input and output. You’ve devised a smart way to use the Northwest climate to your advantage! (I also love your choices for input: Edwards, Spurgeon, Herbert, etc.)
thank you Nancy. I know I can’t put my experiences with God into a box,so to speak…….I think of it more of a framework around the ways He has moved in my life in the past–and it usually seems to match the changes in the weather and the light.