Thursday, April 11, 2013

There is no rushing the end of winter

My mind is confused this morning.  I looked out the window to see it snowing.  I was watching hopelessly out the window when I saw a flash of light followed moments later by a clap of thunder.  Did that really happen?  A snowstorm and thunderstorm happening simultaneously?  Welcome to spring in Minnesota.

Winter is always a struggle here in MN.  It is long, cold and spring doesn't come til the last possible moment.  Most winters I try to create positive attitude momentum in the late fall to catipult me into the spring.  Cold Aprils are always a challenge but usually I muster a little hope and remember it isn't much longer.

This year a challenging fall sucked up all our energy and we entered winter without much momentum.  Thus I sit here in April feeling like this has been a very, very, very long winter.  There has been a lot of complaining on facebook and for some that may be helpful but I have decided to have something of an out of body experience regarding winter this year and simply refuse to acknowledge it good or bad.  I am in survival mode.  I am afraid if I do start complaining I will get sucked down into a hole so deep I might not notice when spring finally does arrive.  I'm not putting a fake happy face on winter I just refuse to engage in its bad behavior.

Basically I am just trying to patiently wait for it to be over. 

I was looking out the window at the tire swing this morning.  I have looked out the window at my tire swing many times over the years.  I have seen it trapped in place by snow that rose up to meet it, seen the dip in the snow where it pushed the snow out of its way as it swayed back and forth, seen it hanging over a light dusting of snow.  And I have seen it soaking up a summer sun, getting blown around in a spring storm.  My children have jumped off it into a pile of fall leaves.  I have gone out and let it rock me back and forth on a warm summer day.

When I look out the window on a day like today I don't just see my tire swing in its depressing state and feel despare, I see the summer that came before and is sure to come again.  It might not look good at the moment but it won't be long now.

And I think about life, about the ups and downs of life, the good and the bad.  Winter may feel long this year but it will come to an end.  I may want to go shovel all the snow off my flower beds and take the hair dryer to the bushes in my front yard encouraging them to start budding.  I want to DO something, take action, be in control of the end of this winter and the beginning of spring and summer.

But I can't, I have no control over the weather.  I can only wait, watch and trust God to turn all this waiting into something beautiful in perfect time.

While it is easy to see that I can't control the weather and so therefore take a stance of guarded but patient waiting, there are so many other areas of my life I struggle to accept the fact that I do not have control.  As crazy as taking a hair dryer to my bushes in an attempt to make spring come sounds, sometimes in life I try to do the same thing in other areas.

Right now I want my house on the market.  It makes me want to just rush through the process, move the furniture over the spots on the rug, shove clutter into closets and slap a sloppy coat of paint on the exterior of the house.  How can I hide and rush all these projects?  But taking short cuts now leads to problems in the future, longer waits for an offer and problems when inspections come.  Better to wait, do it right.  Move through the process and come to the end in God's perfect timing.

Same with relationships.  You can't restore a relationship over night or with one conversation.  You can't force people to like you or forgive you.  It is slow patient action one day at a time. I want to rush the process, and then I want to get mad when the other person isn't on board with me but, that isn't how it works.  There is no warming up the bushes in a snowstorm.  You just have to wait for it to be over and for God to naturally melt the snow and wake up the branches.

So this long winter is like many things in life.  Not exactly what I want or the way I want it but just what God has at this moment.  And just like winter eventually ends and is followed by the magical Minnesota summer, so those trials in life eventually come to an end and leave us with the blessings God prepares for us while we wait.

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