The new season has started. BUT, for some of us, we are still waiting for the new season to start. Wondering…
Is the new season delayed?
That was me! There have been countless promises and messages from the Lord that the New Season has started, starting with a promise received in Isaiah 43:18-19:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
In preparation for the new season in my life, the Lord impressed upon me that some changes would need to happen. As I submitted to the Lord, I would need to do the following:
- To embrace a new purpose, the Lord may need to empty my hands.
- To direct me in a new direction, I may have to stand still to get His bearing.
- To prepare for a new purpose, the Lord may need to prepare a new heart in me or train me in a new understanding or skill for the battles I will need to face.
- To position me for the future, the Lord may need to change the relationships around me, my friends, brothers and sisters in the church, partners in work etc.
- To strengthen me for the future, my faith may need to be renewed, or my closest relationships may need to be strengthened in their faith.
- To release me into the future, the Lord may need to release me from where He had me previously involved, including the responsibilities of that involvement.
The Lord has been working in my heart as there have been numerous changes in my life and in me as a person.
When will the new season in my life start?
On Sunday in church, the Lord asked me a question: “Michelle, are you afraid of the new season because you think I, God, would challenge you and perhaps you are too scared to walk in it? Have you given in to fear?
It took some meditation on the question, but I realised that I was participating in activities that would prevent me from walking into a new season. I am still digging into my motivations behind these, but in effect, I was delaying the new season because I was afraid to progress into it. Here is the list of my delaying strategies:
- Giving in to distraction. Social media, phone games and little things to keep the mind entertained but my hands idle.
- Entertainment. Innocent enough unless used in the extreme. TV marathons and binge watching, or entertaining the mind by researching a new interest or skill, such as baking bread. There is also excessive visiting with friends both on and offline.
- The avoidance of discomfort by not doing anything that would disturb my feelings of being comfortable. This would mean not doing anything new, different or what I would feel even slightly uncomfortable doing. No taking risks, doing things for the first time, trying something new.
- There is also a good dose of self-indulgence. Spoiling myself a little because “I deserve it.” So I eat one more thing, sleep an hour longer, read late into the night etc. Things I do that I know I shouldn’t do for my own good.
- The final touch to the above attitudes is a bit of self–pity, a whine of no-body loves me, no-one understands me, I am alone…etc
- Then there is my regular illness “analysis-paralysis”. Not everyone is guilty of this one, but I certainly am. It is over-thinking, over-analysing my current conversations, circumstances, relationships, work matters etc. This process means that you are ever data collecting, analysing, verifying information and never actually making a decision or taking action.
- Added to this is being slow to make decisions or at least avoiding making a final decision and putting my eggs in that one basket. So I analyse the options once more, look at alternatives and delay.
- My “analysis-paralysis” has also resulted in me setting reasonable goals for myself yet failing to take action. These goals would move me into a new season of my life, so I excitedly write them down. But instead of taking action on these goals, I “do housework,” or I am “too busy to get to it.” I know what I need to do, but I don’t take action.
- I also take a long time to do tasks. A task that should take ten minutes now takes 30 minutes. Simple things take longer to do. Alternatively the time is stretched, for example, I used to know that getting dressed took half an hour, but suddenly it takes an hour. It seems that in everything my time management seems to have been stretched out.
- Blaming. I was embarrassed to admit to this one since I believe that the opposite of owning your rubbish is blaming someone else for it. Unfortunately, my poor husband gets the blame so often. In your life, it may not be your life partner, but the kids, the family, your boss, the petrol price, the politics etc. Blaming is a subtle strategy to avoid taking responsibility for our own choices.
C.S.Lewis once wrote, “We are all half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink, sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
I have been avoiding or delaying the new season, happy to make mud pies in the sand because I cannot imagine what the offer of a new season in my life could mean. God has so much more planned for us if we would only move on into the season.
- What do your delay tactics look like?
- Why are you delaying the new season in your life?
Lord, please forgive me for delaying. I want to embrace the new season and all that you have promised me it would entail. I want to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, for I know that You work in me to will and act according to Your good purpose. Help me throw off the old season with the old ways, shake off these bad habits and start to do what I know is in the new season.