Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Signs of Spring
I enjoy living in an area of the country where we have four distinct seasons. Summers are mostly pleasant, sunny days with just enough days of extreme heat to make us feel like we've really had summer and be grateful for the cooler fall days. We have pine forests, so the fall colors are more subdued here than they are some places, but the occasional brilliant maple against the dark pine green is a thing of beauty. And for being so far north we really do have relatively mild winters. Okay, so we really got dumped on with snow this year... but that was unusual. (And it wasn't just a little more than we usually get it. It was a lot more!) Just like the extremely hot days of summer, we have just enough extremely cold days of winter to feel like we've had winter. Otherwise, it's mostly cloudy and chilly, as winter should be. But, oh, the spring! I am always so ready for spring to come. I try not to "wish my life away" waiting for spring, but I do eagerly anticipate the "time of the singing birds and the flowers appearing on the earth."
Now. I didn't establish the calendar or the seasons. You didn't think I did, did you? But if it was up to me, I'd probably rearrange things just a bit to make spring last longer. According to my notion, it can be winter from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day, spring can be from Valentine's to Memorial Day, then it can be summer until Labor Day, and fall can come between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Who said the seasons had to start according to the sun or the moon or something? Oh. Somebody far wiser than me, I guess. I have no doubt that it's a good thing such things are not up to me.
But Valentine's Day is tomorrow and spring is coming! Just last week I heard the kids say, "It's already 5 o'clock? It's not even dark yet!" (It gets dark around 4:oo during late November and December.) Then when I went to the grocery store and saw a display of happy primroses I just had to buy some to bring home a little "promise of spring" for the kitchen table.
So I've moved my spring countdown ticker up to the top of the page, and I'm watching out my window for more signs of the coming season. It's time to be wrapping up our winter projects and start preparing for our summer activities.
There's a good lesson here. As I watch for signs of spring, am I just as eagerly watching for the coming of Jesus? There is work to be done as we wait, but there is also an urgency to be ready to go soon. And while it will happen in the "twinkling of an eye," just like the coming of spring, there are signs everywhere. It's not going to "sneak up" on us. I want to be watching and working!