Over the past couple of years, I have tried to start digging into the classics of the Western World. Reading through a few of the great authors of Europe, I have realized certain themes and ideas that permeate our modern society. However, I do not want to bore you with those concepts here (at least for today’s post). Instead, I want to challenge you with a picture from the great political thinker Niccolò Machiavelli‘s life. Machiavelli (the author of The Prince) loved Florence and the political scene within its walls. However, he was forced out of that beloved atmosphere and he chose a life of exile at his family’s farm. The farm, within view of the dome of the cathedral, was the place that he spent a portion of his life, taking up chores and tasks around the property. In the mundane nature of manual labor (I’m not blasting manual labor, I love Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs!), this political thinker used that time to his advantage. Machiavelli mused on the political atmosphere during the day and studied his books in the evening. He wrote, thought, and immersed himself in the political realities of the day even though his situation was less than ideal for him.
The period of Machiavelli’s life reminded me about the necessity to live wholly during the seasons of your life, even if they are tough. I once heard a sermon about the nature of humanity to perpetually want the next best thing in life. As a child you will want to go to high school, then you will want to attend college, then you will want to date someone, then you will want to be married, then you will want to have kids, then you will want the kids to move out, then you will want grandkids, then you will want retirement. Unfortunately, by the time you have retired, you will then realize that you want to be a kid again! Besides the fact that this is entirely exhausting, this lifestyle misses the entire point of life. Even during the season of want and plenty, we ought to enjoy those times and take advantage of the unique opportunities that they afford. Even in the darkest storm, there could be a small sliver of opportunity for your growth. Perhaps this current season of your life has provided you a chance to perform that goal. Even though Machiavelli wanted to be in the bustle of Florence, he took advantage of the quiet evenings to expand his knowledge. Even though you look forward to the next step in life, you should take advantage of life right now. All we have is this season, who can ever tell what next month will bring?
In the wise words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Seasons of our lives provide times to grow and it is incredibly easy to miss it. Keep your eyes open and enjoy each season of your life.