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Winter ... The Time to Reflect and to Plan.

“If you sow in the Winter, you will lose both your seed and your harvest.  Why?  Because you didn’t understand the season you were in!”

Winter, like Spring, can make its brief appearance during any season .. A brief reminder of its ultimate power!  The storms of life can shorten the season of opportunity unless we work quickly to respond and cancel their devastating effects.  If we are slow in responding, if we don’t successfully deal with the negativity, we could find ourselves having to wait another ‘year’ for our opportunity.  Winter can also descend, momentarily, during the season of harvest, just as we are about to reap the rewards.  Once again, a slow response could leave us with crops - or results - that are of little value.

One of the important lessons of life is that Winter will always come!  Winters of despair, loneliness and disappointment or tragedy are always just around the corner.  Winter comes in many forms, and it comes to everyone!

But, when Winter arrives, we will either be ‘prepared’ or ‘un-prepared’.

The ‘prepared’, who have planted profusely in Spring, guarded their crops carefully during Summer, and harvested abundantly in Autumn, will find Winter of further opportunity.  It will be a time for reading; a time for planning; a time for getting strength for the coming Spring; and a time for taking a comfortable shelter.  It is a time for great enjoyment; a time to share with our loved-ones and those who laboured with us; a time for thanksgiving, sharing and gratitude for what have and for what we are yet to achieve.  It is a time to sharpen our tools and implements, repair fences, develop strategies to better last year’s performances, put systems in place to be fully prepared for the first sign of Spring.  Winter is the time to gear-up for a higher level.

Winter is definitely not a time for complacency, for those who rest too much will be overtaken.

The ‘un-prepared’ will find Winter a time for regret and a time of sorrow.  Having neglected to pay the pain of earlier discipline, we now pay the heavier pain of regret!  Winter is cruel to the ‘un-prepared’.  We face a full year, even when entering Spring, with an empty stomach and an empty purse.

The ‘un-prepared’, however, stand to learn the greatest lessons in Winter - if they choose to.  In Winter they can do all the things that will prepare them for Spring ... but will they?  These things - reading books, sharpening tools, changing attitudes, opinions and habits , and changing fields, friends and circumstances - are all easy to do, BUT they are also easy not to do!  The more Winters we pass through without making changes, the more difficult change becomes! 

Massive action will come only when “the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of making a gain!”

The major challenge confronting those who are surrounded by Winter is not to let it affect the arrival of Spring, and the ability to recognise that arrival.

If you are without love, money or employment, it is a Winter ... and its appearance is because you have missed a Springtime somewhere.  Neglect is always costly!  Dwelling on the severity of your personal Winter merely makes the Winter more difficult to endure.  Search the inner-confines of your mind and soul in order to discover the real cause of the Winter.  Adversity is rarely attributed to someone or something outside ourselves!  To blame outside influences for the circumstances of your Winter is a convenient excuse for misplacing responsibility.  To do this, is to continue to reap mediocrity!

See to it that, during Winter, you are planning for the arrival of Spring ... and not contemplating the errors of last year.  Develop a confidence in the future, not apprehension; appreciation of the past, not regret (for even the errors of the past serve as great lessons for the future); and gratitude for your achievements, adversities and uncertainties of life.

Use every Winter as an opportunity to invest your time in assuring, teaching and encouraging others.  For, in doing this, you will gain an even greater confidence in yourself ... the teacher always learns the greatest amount from the message he teaches!

We can only be fruitful in our “season”.  That’s where blessings and success occur.  We can’t just do it whenever we want to!  When the right season comes, it’s almost effortless for the tree to produce what’s stored within. 

There’s fruit stored within each of us, but we can only produce it successfully if we understand the season we are in.

Spring is for training and discipline.  That’s when we begin to develop a vision, a goal, and we develop a strategy to achieve it.

Summer is when we mature what Spring has begun.  Whatever we nurture (good or bad) will grow and multiply.

Autumn is when the passion, enthusiasm and drive is replaced by the calm of the veteran.  This is when we work smarter, not harder.  It’s a time for transition and preparation for the upcoming Winter.

Winter is when we assess our accomplishments, enjoy the fruits, pass on our counsel (teach others), and take our bows.  If it was a good harvest ... we can be rightfully proud, and prepare to step up to the next level!

Whatever the season, there is a purpose ... and, if we are wise, we will enjoy every minute of every very important season!