Reflections on Thriving: A Time to Thrive

By Reid B. Swetland, Associate Dean of Campus Engagement, Mental Health Counselor

Perhaps it’s being a born and raised New Englander, or my fondness for Solomon’s wisdom poetry in Ecclesiastes 3, that I am accustomed to the language and preparation for the changing seasons. Being alongside students in their various stages of growth has been nothing short of a divine privilege.

There’s an old adage that says the last thing to grow on a fruit tree is the fruit. A lot of hard work and patience is required before we get to the harvest, work that may not look like living your best life or the #blessed often associated with thriving.

Learning to thrive means that during seasons of personal, intellectual and spiritual formation you experience, thriving isn’t the transformation process itself, but the result of it. No longer being in the place you once were, able to reflect and see the growth, able to accept what seemed to not have a purpose in the moment or seeing God’s faithfulness throughout constantly changing seasons of life. 

When the Apostle Paul reflects that he has learned to be “content in all circumstances,” our circumstances could be the seasons that Solomon described; not just as one or the other, but encompassing everything in between. If Solomon were a college student, perhaps he would have written there’s a time to survive and a time to thrive. Learning to thrive means being equipped to be faithful, trusting stewards of wisdom to navigate the life God has called each of us to live.