Prepare to Welcome Spring

Published in the March 2015 issue of the South Church newsletter, The Voice:

This is one of the coldest winters in many years.  Meteorologists tell us that February was Connecticut’s coldest month on record!  And it’s all anyone can talk about.  Many complain.  Others talk about escaping to Florida.  A few die-hard New Englanders still embrace it all!  Well, as strange as it may sound for someone who grew up in Florida and spent twenty years of my life living in Hawaii, I’m with those die-hard New Englanders.  I love it!

Part of my embrace of our New England winters comes from plain old stubbornness.  When I moved here from Hawaii in 2007, I was determined not to be that thin-blooded, whiney guy from the tropics that was put to shame by Connecticut Yankees.  I shoveled out from each storm, even the thirty inches we received in the 2013 blizzard, with a metaphorical shake of the fist at the sky, “You aren’t going to beat me, Mother Nature!”

But there is more than stubbornness at work in my embrace of winter.  The cold and snow leaves me in awe of creation’s power and beauty.  I look at the layer upon layer of snow on my lawn, with more on the way, and I know that I am not in control of this world we call home.  I am not in control of my life.  When a storm is dumping snow all I can do is let go and wait it out.  And when the storm is over, I do my best to respond, to dig my way out.  This is hard work, but there is a feeling of satisfaction when I am done.  I regain my freedom.  Though when I go back about my business I do so with more caution, move a bit more slowly; I watch out for others on the road.

Winter is often used as a metaphor for sin, while spring communicates resurrection and redemption.  Beyond just complaining we might ask ourselves how best to respond to the winters, sin and all its accompanying hardships, of our lives.  Will we just hunker-down, squeeze our eyes shut, and hope it goes away?  Will we just complain?  Or will we look our sin square in the eye, appreciate God’s power and acknowledge our vulnerability, then do our best to dig our way out of the mess we’re in?  And when the grace and forgiveness of God’s spring pushes up through the hardened, frozen places in our lives, will we respond to our freedom by moving about life with more caution, more attention to the welfare of others?  And, will we remember to praise God through it all?

Published in: on March 9, 2015 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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