Callings go through seasons.
Sometimes you’re in an exciting season in your calling. You know what you want to do, you’re pursuing your dreams and you’re achieving success.
Sometimes you’re in a disappointing season.
You took a risk, things didn’t work out and you feel like you’ve failed.
And then sometimes, or a lot of the time, you’re in a *blah* season—a time when you’re not unhappy with your job or current circumstances, but you’re not thrilled either. You’re pretty sure there’s something else out there for you, but you don’t know what it is, and you don’t know when it will be clear.
During these times, it is tempting to get restless and go look for something exciting to do. But let me challenge you here for a minute to not do that just yet.
Instead, stay where you are and wait.
I know, this is a lesson we don’t hear often these days, and it could be that it is time for you to move on. But it could be that more is happening in your heart, mind, passions and skills in this “blah” season than you realize, and in order to fully reap the benefits, it’s important for you to just sit still.
A mentor of mine calls this waiting season a time to “let the land lie fallow”—an agricultural term that basically means a year or season when you plant and grow nothing.
You let the land rest.
In the Mosaic law, the Israelites were told to plant and harvest for six years, “But in the seventh year, the land is to have a year of Sabbath rest, a Sabbath to the Lord.
Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards” (Leviticus 25:4).
Can you imagine?
An entire year of Sabbath. It looks and feels boring, but in the soil a lot is happening that will benefit the farmer and the crops for next year. When the land lies fallow, the soil can regenerate. Its nutrients are restored and replenished, and the next year, after some rest, it is ready to produce.
There were many spiritual reasons God commanded this of his people. Here are a few mentioned in Matthew Henry’s commentary:
- To remind them of their dependence on God and to use the fruit of their land to his glory.
- With a year off from business, they had more time to get to know God’s law.
- “They were reminded of the easy life man lived in paradise, when he ate of every good thing…. Labor and toil came in with sin.”
- “This year of rest typified the spiritual rest which all believers enter into through Christ…. Through him we are eased of the burden of worldly care and labor…and we are enabled and encouraged to live by faith.”
I love that last reason.
Our dreams and successes aren’t what define us.
We forget where our true worth lies, in Christ and Christ alone. We forget to rest in that truth and sometimes when there is no clear direction for what’s next and we’re growing anxious, we just need to rest.
Then, next year, we may be ready for harvest.