Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: More Glorious Than Spring
By Venice Kichura
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But, it’s not even the dead of winter, yet. Just barely past Thanksgiving and not even into December, but I’m already anticipating spring, wishing somehow I could just bypass winter.
For the past six years since I’ve been a New Englander, spring has been my favorite season. Each spring I can finally shed my heavy overcoat, exchange my ugly boots for flip-flops, and open my windows. And, there’s the thrill of seeing the first spring flowers poke their way through the once-snow-covered ground. The birds serenade me as I awaken each morning and the days grow warmer and longer. It’s a glorious season.
Unfortunately, I have to wait four long cold months before spring arrives. Last week as the last leaves fell off the trees and I dug out my dirty overcoat, I felt a sense of dread of what was ahead----Weeks and months of staring at frozen, dirty snow, getting up early to shovel our long steep driveway, and being careful not to slip on the ice and break my wrist (as my husband did last year).
But spring hasn’t always been my favorite season. In fact (next to summer) it was my least favorite for most of my life that I lived in southern Florida. There I loved winter (if you want to call it that) when we could finally open up our house and turn off the air conditioner. It was the time for fairs, art shows and other festivities. On the other hand, spring meant it was time to, again, be closed up in our air-conditioned homes (for the next nine months), dreading the upcoming three “H’s” of summer ----“Heat, Humidity and Hurricanes”.
But spring takes on a different meaning once you move up north. You appreciate it more. It means more carefree days and sleeping a little later because you don’t have to “dig out” just to get out the door.
Let’s face it. Winter is hard work if you don’t live in states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, or California.
But life isn’t easy either. At least mine hasn’t been a walk in the park.
I’m thinking about this especially now as I’m debating whether to write an annual Christmas letter. I struggle with this decision every year at this time. Do I really want to talk about everything that happened to my family this year?
Reading some of the Christmas letters we’ve received each year from family and friends I’m led to believe they’ve never have a “winter” in their lives. It sounds like springtime all year long. You know the letters….The ones you get each December that brag about everything from their kid’s graduation from Harvard to their annual trip around the world.
I don’t know about you, but we’ve endured several “winters” in our family. Sure there are the “springtimes”---- the happy days of weddings, new grandchildren and graduations. But we’ve also known the sorrows of winter where we’ve battled with wayward children, bouts of discouragement, and ongoing illnesses.
In reality we all struggle in life to some degree, but still, some lives are just easier than others---just as some states have milder winters. But on the other hand, it’s those folks who have “shoveled the snow” who seem to be the most compassionate, the most generous, and the most understanding. And, in reality, they have blessed me the most.
On second thought…Maybe I will write that Christmas letter, sharing both my joys and sorrows….Who knows, perhaps it will bless someone else who needs to know that he or she isn’t alone in their winter struggles.
More importantly, I need to share my hope in Christ. Just as new life appears each spring, I’ve been born again thanks to the resurrection power of Jesus Christ---the babe whose birth we soon celebrate. Then, later, each spring, we celebrate His victory on the cross.
And with great joy, we also look forward to his Second Coming.
So instead of lamenting, “I can’t wait until spring”…… Lord, let me share with others how I can’t wait until that glorious and long-awaited day of your return.
That day will be far more glorious than any beautiful spring day.
”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2&3 NIV
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