On a blazing hot day in late July, I decided to go hunting for raspberries at a local orchard. I love all the summer berries, but raspberries are my favorite. I had a feeling I missed the peak window for raspberry picking, but I also had a feeling if I searched hard enough for long enough I could still find plenty. Because what can’t be accomplished through sheer determination?
An hour later, I had about a dozen raspberries, and half of them were duds.
This was a little disappointing, mostly because I was really hoping for raspberries. But it also flies in the face of a commonly held American belief: You can have anything you want, anytime you want it. You might have to put a lot of effort into it, but in the end, you can have anything you are willing to work for.
And I could have had raspberries. I could have gone to the grocery store and bought a pint of raspberries shipped here from California or Mexico or somewhere else where they grow nearly year-round. Because I live in America, I really can have almost anything I want, almost anytime I want it—at least when it comes to material things.
But instead of rerouting to the grocery store, I took a walk past the blueberry bushes. And it was kind of like the Vegas Strip lit up at night. There were blueberries everywhere. I filled the whole basket in a quarter of the time it took me to pick 12 sad raspberries.
I didn’t necessarily want blueberries, but blueberries were in season. And there is a different kind of joy that comes with gratefully accepting what is right in front of you, ripe for the taking.
“You can want everything you have!” is not a thing we say, generally
The season of life I’m currently in probably won’t go down as one of my all-time favorites. And while part of that is a natural response to change, I wonder if a larger part of my discontentment is that I’m trying to force raspberries in a blueberry season. Maybe I’m searching so hard for remnants of a season that has passed that I’m not fully embracing what is here right now, waiting to be enjoyed for what it is, not what it isn’t.
This concept—choosing what I have instead of forcing what I want—feels like a slant route to me. Our cultural motto is usually “You can have everything you want!” and not “You can want everything you have!” Honestly, it feels a little complacent—like if I’m just choosing what I already have, then I must not be working hard enough for what I really want.
But when I look at my life in the rear view mirror, it’s easy to see that none of the best things happened because I white-knuckled them into existence. Nor did they come via shortcuts, like Mexican raspberries in a tiny plastic container.
The best things happened naturally. The best jobs, the best people, the best memories—all of those things were out of my control. They were a product of being faithful in doing everything I could and God being faithful in doing what He could—namely, being sovereign. The best things grew and thrived because it was their season to do so.
Maybe changing seasons—in life, in fruit, in everything—would be a little bit easier and a little bit better if, instead of pretending I have a level of control I truly don’t have, I chose to want the things that are naturally happening in this moment, in this season.