Didn’t it begin earlier? Winter, I mean. Snow has already blanketed much of the Northern Hemisphere, and cold temps have thrown many areas into a deep freeze. Yet, calendar-wise, winter has only begun on December 21. Makes me wonder if the dates really matter much, when we see what’s really happening in the world. After all,”winter” connotes much of what has been occurring already- winter weather, winter clothing out of storage, wintry “comfort food” on the table. And, along with this, we’re already experiencing the inconvenience of winter storms, the pang of colder wind, and the overall chilled feeling of shorter days and longer nights.
What is the point of keeping track of winter on a calendar?
Perhaps superficially, there is no real point at all. But looking more deeply, I think there is – and we can glean from this more profound reason a bit of warm wisdom for our souls, too.
Pain and illness are much like winter. They are uncomfortable (to say the least!) and they turn us away from light, warmth, and comfort. Their time-span is like a long, barren season, when we might become increasingly despondent, even depressed as they wear on, seemingly without end. But then, moving alongside of us throughout our lives, is a kind of “calendar” of faith. As we move through the year, we have Easter, an uplifting holiday to remember God’s love for us and His amazing power. And we have Christmas, a time to focus on God’s love, too, and His gifts to us. Were it not for these times, these ways in which God manifests His love for us, we might continue on our wintry way. But these events celebrated each year renew our spirits, refresh our souls, and give us the spring, summer and fall that we need to weather those really difficult “other” times – those winters.
Winter allows the earth to rest and the world to slow down a bit. The winters in our souls afford us the opportunity to hibernate, too, and work at renewing our spiritual lives so that we might emerge stronger, more joyful, and grow brighter in His Light for days and years to come!
Blessings for the day,