• Sanyade Okoli

What Season Are You In?

Before reading on, please spend time to reflect on the photo above - focus on the flowers. I’d like the photo to speak to you directly before I share my thoughts. I took the first photo about two weeks ago and felt led to track the journey of the two flowers.

A dear friend friend-mentor periodically asks me, “What season are you in?” “What’s the Lord saying to you?” She’s been asking me this for a few years now so today I have a much better understanding of what the question means than I did the first time I was asked :-).

I think this question is a particularly pertinent one to ask one's self during this period. Sometime last week my friend-colleague and I had a zoom call to discuss the extent to which the pandemic altered the strategic direction we had set at the start of the year for the company we run, if at all. As we explored various ideas, the topic of all the Instalive sessions that people we knew had been having came up. My initial thought was “Oh! Do I need to be doing all that stuff as well? Am I wasting this time? Should I be looking to ‘accelerate’ at this time?” My concerns were particularly pronounced as not only was I not holding or appearing on numerous Instalive sessions and webinars like “my mates”, due to the lock-down I had all but given up doing my previously regular Arise TV interviews; especially after the last debacle (see to learn more..... Lol).

My mind was racing; worrying about what others were doing that I wasn’t doing at a time when the country seemed all but certain to head into a recession. A short time later I sensed the Lord quietly ask me “Accelerate to where, when you don’t know where you are going?” My immediate response? “Ah! Ok, Sir! Sorry Sir!” As Yorubas say, “otan”, meaning “e don finish!” You see, I had been asking the Lord for direction concerning the business over the last few weeks. Had God been human, He would have been perplexed and irritated as to where I was trying to “accelerate” to when I had been asking Him for direction and had not yet received a clear answer. Think of it this way, you are walking down the road and just as you get to a big crossroad a man pulls up next you in his car (not being sexist but it has to be a man for this illustration ;-)) and stops you to ask for directions to where he is going. Then, as you start opening your mouth to give him directions, he speeds off in the wrong direction. Isn’t that what we do sometimes? Charge off here, there and everywhere without a clear sense of where we ought to be headed; or equally importantly, not knowing whether we should be “camping out” where we are for a bit.

Thankfully, God being the kind Father that He is, gently put my brakes on as I was contemplating speeding off. You see, since I started having to periodically answer the question, “what season am I in?” I have been more aware of “seasons” in our lives. About a week or two before Lagos went into lock-down mode the Lord impressed upon my heart that the lock-down period was, amongst other things, a time to reset – a time to go back to the centre – Him! (see Two months later, I can confirm that it has indeed been a season of growing my roots deeper in Him and gaining clarity on the direction He wants me to go, at least from a personal perspective. It is precisely for this reason that it is so important that I do not follow what other people are doing at this time. As someone so eloquently put it, “we may all be in the same COVID-19 storm but we are all in different boats”; I shall add, “heading in different directions”.

It is critical that we all make time to seek the Father regarding what season we are in. A wise person will determine their decisions and actions based on the season they are in. What good would it be if I am looking for mangoes in July or expecting oranges to be sweet and juicy in February? Of what use would it be to wait until the harvest season to plant and then be surprised that there is nothing to harvest in the planting season? True alignment with God is determining what season we are in according to His calendar and acting accordingly.

At the beginning of 2017, as I was seeking the Lord concerning what He had in mind for me for that year, He told me that He wanted me to talk a lot less and listen a lot more. I was entering into my “quiet season”. It’s been a period of mixed emotions; it's been challenging, confusing, liberating, and enlightening, amongst other things. A lot of people who have met me in the last few years assume that I have always been quiet :-). Not so! God just told me to shut up! :-) I have become so much quieter over this period that I myself got confused about what my authentic personality was. Lol! I had to call a friend that I have known since university days to ask if she would ever have considered me as a quiet person. She thought it was the most ridiculous question but conceded that I had become quieter over the years :-).

In this time the Lord has melted me, moulded me, melted me again, then put me on the refiner’s fire, then moulded me again, and then repeated the process; at least that’s how it has felt to me! :-) Another less dramatic way to look at it is that in this time the Lord has been helping me to grow roots in Him; the depth of roots required to ensure that I bear the fruits and flowers that would not only glorify Him but will last. He has also had to remind me from time to time to not look at the fruits and flowers others were bearing as His plan for each one of us different.

That takes me to the flowers in the picture. For me, I thought it spoke beautifully to the fact that we are all in very different “seasons” in our lives. Even though the two flowers were attached to the same stalk, they were in very different stages of their development. It was only when the second flower died that they were both “in the same place”. Again, this was another poignant reminder not to compare myself to anyone as I simply do not know what season they are in. A further interesting observation I made of the flowers was that as long as they were both alive, they were beautifully fragrant; regardless of their stage of development.

So, what season am I in? It depends on what aspect of my life we are referring to :-). In reality, I think different aspects of my life are well represented in all the photos – from budding to the end. Regarding stepping into purpose however, I believe I am finally entering the budding stage.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


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