On April 2015, I wrote a blog called the Portrait of Delight - and six months ago, I shared a photo compilation of my ongoing yet ever-changing PORTRAIT. Basically my expressions and thoughts on finding beauty during the process. Right in the middle of the unglamorous, messy, and even ugly. And unveiling the vulnerable and raw pieces within - that's when ashes turn into beauty - a courageous heart choosing to show the ashes to bring out the gold. I'm still in the process. More free than yesterday, but still needing grace and love more than ever. Progression of expressions, but continuity from consistency of design. Here is my reflection on Seasons.
I landed in Korea right at the tail end of winter, experienced the first spring blossoms, soaked in the record breaking heat waves, and now am fully embracing the first signs of autumn.
My 15-year residence in California blurred a realistic sense of four seasons. Through my recent “first” experiences - knee-deep blizzard in Philadelphia, sight of spring blossoms and heat waves in Korea - I’m forming a new level of understanding of seasons, as well as an awakening of something new inside.
Seasons can change in a moment - but our readiness will determine how well we end the previous and begin the new. The summer heat in Korea has been so intense with record-breaking numbers of 20+ years. Korean weather reports of temperature drops and rain was wrong over and over again (cheers to disappointment) Then, last Friday, after another day of blasting heat, I walked out to pleasantly discover the first signs of autumn in the air. It felt like summer will never leave - but with the first autumn wave, it suddenly felt like summer never happened. (Or did the heat warm us up to embrace the cold?)
I recall someone saying that our lives don't run by time, but seasons. For the majority of my life, I found myself in a state of longing. I longed for the crisp, cool air in the midst of summer heat, and for the first flower blooms during the height of winter. However, we must seize and conquer the treasure of the present season to be fully equipped and ready for the next. When we drag the baggage of last season, we lack the capacity to breathe in and live out the gold reserved for the next. We can only truly appreciate the warmth of spring after we endured the cold of winter.
Presence is the key to fulfilling the purpose of a season. While there is revelation and experience reserved for a season, it's up to us to just live or live it out. I'm learning the beauty of slowly but surely. We're all in a journey. Some go fast, some go slow. But our determinant of progress should never be on the basis of others, but the integrity of our faithfulness, character, drive.
I realize that each person receives different portions of grace per season - for the purpose of encouragement, not comparison. Someone’s spring season should not discourage your winter season. But it’s meant to give you hope for things to come and strength to get there. In the same way, another’s winter season can remind us of the faithfulness and kindness of the one who brought us safe and strong through the cold. Crossing paths with someone in a different season reflects the diversity and beauty of individual lives. When they click and collide, the different sounds produce beautiful melodies to be a testament and inspiration.
In every season, we’re shielded by the grace of the creator. That’s my daily motivation to steward well. Opportunities may come and go, but I never take present opportunities at hand for granted. Even in the waiting, I want to steward and make something out of the gold inside. I want to steward to what’s given here and now, instead of waiting around for something better or coveting other’s good. When the new wave comes, I want to be right in the middle - hungry and ready.