“In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.”                          --1 Sam. 3:1


The following is from Marshall Shelley, the editor of Leadership Journal:

My wife's father is a Kansas farmer. He's spent a lifetime raising wheat, corn, milo, beef, and along the way some sheep and chickens. One morning while I followed him around the farm, we talked about the differences between city living and a rural lifestyle.

"Most city folks I know expect each year to be better than the last," he said. "They think it's normal to get an annual raise, to earn more this year than you did last year. As a farmer, I have good years and bad years. It all depends on rain at the right time, dry days for harvest, and no damaging storms. Some years we have more; some years we have less."


It was one of those indelible moments of stunning clarity. And that "law of the harvest"—some years being fat and others being lean—applies to much more than agriculture. Growing in spiritual maturity requires gratefully accepting the "seasons of more" and the "seasons of less" that God weaves into specific areas of our lives—our friendships, marriage, career, finances, ministry, and spiritual growth.


I wonder how you would describe the “season” that you’re in right now.  For my part, I’d have to say that 2010 was not a season of dramatic spiritual growth.  So what Shelley has to say about “gratefully accepting” all of the seasons that we experience is pretty helpful.  It’s easy to think that we’re always supposed to be in a phase of dramatic spiritual growth.  But are we?


Perhaps there are times when things need to sit still for a while.  Of course sometimes they’re sitting still because we’ve grown complacent.  So it’s important to be able to tell the difference.  It’s important to ask the question: How am I relating to God and why?

As you prepare for Sunday worship I, hope you’ll stop and look at your own relationship to God.  Is it true that the word of the LORD is rare in your life?  Is it true that there has not been much vision from God?  If so, the really important question to ask is why.  Hopefully that question will bring you a step closer to being able to say to God: “Speak LORD, your servant is listening.”