In its season

It was 3 a.m. in a silent house. (Too many of my posts start similarly, but the best thoughts often come in the middle of the night when the house is quiet and my schedule is somewhere out of reach in the dark.)

There was nothing to do except try to fall back asleep. But trying was like sweeping up a pile of ants: as soon as I gathered my thoughts, they ran every which way until I started to panic because I knew I needed sleep to face tomorrow’s to-do list.

So when fretting, crying, and praying didn’t put me back to sleep, I decided to meditate. This verse came to mind:

“but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.”

I was particularly worn that night. Not just ragged around the edges but frayed down deep. It had started with that all-too-familiar mental fog that I had thought was gone for good. Little by little, the day had unraveled.

Staring into the dark, I tried to recall the rest of the Psalm 1 passage:

“[The righteous] is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season...”

I never did finish the chapter. I got stuck on this: Am I a tree that yields its fruit in its season?

The tree is planted by the stream of life-giving water, but it doesn’t not produce fruit without ceasing. There are seasons of pruning and seasons of rest. Why do I think I can skip those seasons and yield fruit all year round, always productive, always at the top of my game?

Somewhere, in the middle of wondering what the variety of seasons looked like in everyday life, I fell asleep.

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