Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: The Promise of Spring
By tanya heinemann
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As a small child, Spring meant I got to play outside more. Warmer weather and longer days meant only one thing: freedom. I was free from the confines of the house. I could explore the backyard for hours on end. I wonder how many miles I "flew" on that swing?
As a teenager, Spring meant it was time to start sunbathing. It didn't matter that the thermometer outside barely registered seventy degrees. I had a mission. I would be tanned before the swimsuit season actually started. Afterall, who actually went to the beach during Summer to get a tan?
In college Spring meant only one thing: Spring Break. We partied all year in preparation for that one week long party. Strange how Spring Break always seemed to arrive about three weeks before Spring actually started. Ironically, I only went out of town twice during my college years. Both times I visited places with lots of snow.
As a working adult, Spring still meant only one thing: Spring Break. I was an instructor at a local college. I looked forward each year to a week of freedom from classes in order to catch up on some work. While my students spent a week free from the worries of class, I sat at my desk grading papers.
Now as a mother, Spring looks entirely different. Each year I see it again for the first time through the eyes of my children. I'm mesmerized by the beauty of blossoms bursting forth with color all around me. I'm speechless as I listen to the birds singing songs to one another. I'm spellbound as I watch a mother duck teaching her ducklings to swim.
It took a lifetime, my lifetime, to teach me the wonders of Spring. Yet, for my children, all they did was open their eyes. Maybe that was my problem. Before I had children my eyes were closed. I saw only what I wanted to see. Kind of like that line from the song, Amazing Grace, "I once was blind but now I see."
Maybe, when all is said and done, that's what Spring is all about: grace. It's a season of new beginnings. It's a gift from God, unearned and freely given. There is nothing we can do that makes Spring arrive. It comes year after year putting to rest all the worries of a long, cold winter. Spring is a promise of what is to come. On those freezing, dark winter nights, we have the promise of Spring to keep us going.
Is it any surprise that Jesus died on the cross in the midst of Spring? His death and resurection give us all a new beginning. He is our hope, our promise of a brighter tomorrow. With Jesus in our lives, the despair of Winter fades away with the warmth of Spring.
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