Your Best Season Of Life
My wife and I sometimes wonder what we spent our time doing before our children were born. We don’t remember feeling troubled by an abundance of time, but compared to what we now experience, it’s hard to understand our earlier years any other way. Revisionist history now tells us that we must have read dozens of books each month and weren't unsurprised by the sound of silence.
It can be habitual to think that life was easier when we look in the rearview mirror. I know of many parents who bemoan their shortage of time and the increased responsibilities that they now bear. This is usually compounded by the guilt they carry from no longer devoting as much time to the spiritual practices they think “count” such as personal Bible reading and prayer. Not surprisingly, any activity that requires personal time is likely to take a significant hit when anyone becomes a care taker for a young child (my golf game is a perfect example).
Comedian Jim Gaffigan defines children as young humans constantly making noise. He would know since he and his wife share their two-bedroom apartment with their five kids.
If quiet time is so hard to come by, what can a parent do to have Christ formed within them?
John Ortberg suggests that our season of life is not a barrier to our spiritual growth because our growth should not be defined by prescribed activities. Parents may have limited opportunities for quiet time, but as they care for their child they can offer expressions of gratitude, prayers for help, and the patient acceptance of trials. This, Ortberg argues, might become a kind of school for transformation into powerful servanthood beyond anything a person might have otherwise known .
It can be tempting to define unexpected or unwanted circumstances in our lives as barriers to our spiritual growth, but these can actually be the very catalysts for our growth. We can choose to devote each season of our life to the transforming work of the Spirit.
Some of our circumstances come through our choices, but we live with other realities that we had no choice of. Either way, every season of our life counts. If we find ourselves wishing away a particular season, we’re actually wishing away our very life.
Instead of wishing we were in another season, let’s discover what this one offers. Because the best season of your life is now.
Keith Reed is the Associate Director of MinistryLift at MB Seminary.
1. John Ortberg, The Life You Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 53-54.