Strawberries are absolutely delicious. My whole family loves them, and without proper supervision my boys can eat more than 2 pounds in one sitting. Not too long ago me and the boys were at Costco and I wondered out loud "are strawberries in season yet?" They looked at me kinda funny. My eldest asked for clarification because he couldn't comprehend what that even meant. My children had trouble understanding that fruit is seasonal and hasn't always been available 365 days a year. Rarely have I ever felt older. I almost felt like the guy from The Last Crusade who drank from the wrong cup, aged 100 years in 5 seconds and eventually turned to dust.
While it's easy to cue up the WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE chorus and criticize "kids these days", this struck me as a realization: we live in a society where seasons are becoming extinct. And that is awful for understanding our spiritual health.
In Psalm 1, the psalter writes:
[a healthy person] is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither...
Spiritual fruit IS seasonal. Unlike edible fruit, that is a reality that cannot change with hydroponics or GMO's. It is unreasonable to expect spiritual fruit all of the time. As a follower of Jesus, your health is not synonymous with fruitfulness. You are a tree with a continuous source of fresh water. That means some seasons are about bearing fruit, but other seasons are about regeneration or purging or rest. By remaining connected to the source (Jesus), you will not wither in those challenging seasons. Your spiritual life will remain healthy. But that doesn't always mean bearing fruit.
We live in a culture that idolizes success and productivity. Between justifying gaps in resumes and the pressure to adopt side hustles, the expectation is that there should never be a break from producing "the fruits of your labor". This is toxic for our humanity and in direct opposition to healthy spirituality. You are not your fruit. You are so much more than that.
To be spirituality health year-round, allow yourself to experience seasons. They are a natural part of life and necessary to sustainable growth. One step you can take today: reflect upon your life and evaluate your season. Is this a time where fruit is abundant or has it been a struggle? Do you have energy for your pursuits or do you feel overspent? Just starting to identify your current season will make a big difference to your spiritual health.