Savoring Where You Are Today - Get Your Hopes Up

Savoring Where You Are Today

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Summer is my favorite season.

I start anticipating it as soon as March 1st hits and can’t wait for it to get here because to me it feels like childhood, with freedom and fun and no responsibilities. I always have long lists of things I want to do and experience.

But it never really looks like that, does it? Summer gets busy. Whether it’s because kids are out of school or there are 37 weddings invitations on the fridge, vacations planned and other things that take up nights and weekends, summer can feel a lot more tiring than the rest of the year.

This year, I felt like summer was over before it started. Within the first few weeks of June, I panicked I was going to miss it. One morning I sat down to spend time with God and while I vented my thoughts about the scarcity of time, this phrase came to mind:

This season is supposed to be savored.

While I tried to grasp for time to slow down and to not look ahead, it felt like God extended an invitation that maybe, just maybe, there is a way to savor this season. And I realized it wasn’t just about summer, this was about just the season of life I am in.

But how? How do we not rush from one thing to the next? How do we find joy now, but not fear the grief that will come with change?

When I asked God those questions, I turned to see what Scripture said and at how Jesus did this. I’ve found three things we can do to savor the season we are in:

  1. Slow down: As I’ve read through the Gospels, I’ve noticed Jesus was never in a hurry. He retreated to be alone with God. He slept. He ate with friends. He did what he came to do, but he gave his all to it because he wasn’t in a rush. He didn’t try to fill his days to the brim; he left room for margin and to be interrupted along the way. Even when the disciples tried to add to his schedule, he didn’t let that distract from his pace or from what he set out to do.
  2. Stay present: Another thing that strikes me about Jesus is that he was fully present where he was. Whether it was talking to someone, or healing someone, or praying alone, he was present in where he was. He came and was present on earth. He knew what the future held, and he let that drive what he was doing. And he told his disciples not to worry about tomorrow, but to focus on today. Instead of rushing ahead and looking at what’s coming up—finding things to look forward to and be excited about, or looking down at our phones or gazing back wishing things were like they were before, what if we just were present? We may not miss as many things if we did.
  3. See the good in front of us: Over and over in the Bible we see a challenge to fix our eyes on good things. Like in Philippians 4:8, whatever is true and noble and right and pure and lovely and admirable and excellent and worthy of praise. We are called to present our requests to God with gratitude in the midst of anxiousness. When we fix our thoughts on the goodness of the gospel and of grace, we can better savor where we are. Now, I don’t know what season you are in currently. Maybe you’re in a season with a lot of struggle and suffering. Maybe you’re thinking, That’s great, but I can’t slow down right now. I don’t want to stay in this season because I don’t see any good in it. And I get that. The feeling that there’s nothing to savor when you are in a season you just don’t want to be in.
  4. There is a fourth thing we can do, and that’s surrender. And that’s what Jesus did. When he prayed in the garden and begged God, please, if it’s possible, take this cup from me. There was no slowing down what was about to happen. And I doubt being present in that pain was something he wanted to do. And what good could possibly come from the pain he was about to experience.

But then he said: “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Jesus knew. He knew that while dying on a cross was not something to savor by the world’s standards, God was going to use that very thing to change the world. There was good coming from that. And while I don’t know your circumstances, I know our God. I know seasons come and seasons go, but he’s there and he has something for you in it. Whether we see good come from it on this side of eternity or not, we can savor the season we are in because he’s good and his love for us is worth being savored.

God, teach us to savor this season. Show us how to slow down when we want to speed up. Show us how to stay present when we want to skip ahead. Show us how to see the good things, right here, even when it’s easier to see the bad. Show us how to surrender not just in this season, but in the ones to come. Amen

From the Book: