This, Too, Is Necessary

26 Nov

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.”  ~ Paul Theroux

It looks as if winter may make its first major introduction to us today.  The forecast called for a winter storm to begin last night around 11:00 p.m. and, by the time this reflection posts, the winds should be howling and the snow swirling.  When it does, many of us will think to ourselves, “Why does this have to happen?!”  We will be thinking it especially as it takes place at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend and the beginning of another work week.  Traffic will become snarled and many will be out of sorts.

Does this have to happen?  The short answer is simply “Yes!”  Winter and all that it throws at us must happen.  Without it, we would not be able to have as glorious a spring and summer.  Theroux calls it a “season of recovery and preparation”.  I think about it as the earth “resetting” itself.  Very much as a computer has to be rebooted once in a while, the earth “reboots” itself with winter.  The life of the summer and fall gets swept away, the land goes to sleep under a blanket of snow, and new life prepares itself for a return in the spring.

Without the cold of winter, some plants would not be able to return.  They need that winter cycle in order to store up all the nutrients that they will need for a busy spring of pushing through the earth, growing, and blossoming.  The water from the melting snow will also become necessary for the new life of spring.

There are many times that our spiritual lives appear to have seasons.  Sometimes, our faith is strong and vibrant.  When we pray, we feel very close to the Lord.  Nothing can go wrong.  All is well with the world.  But that does not always last.  Sometimes, we seem to go into a winter of sorts in our faith life.  Everything is fallow and barren.  Our spiritual life struggles.  We find it hard to pray.  We feel as if God were a million miles away.

Those who have gone through these spiritual winters will tell you that the growth of a spiritual spring is just as vibrant and beautiful as the spring on earth.  We are entering winter.  That’s okay.  Spring will come again.

If you are entering a spiritual winter — or already in the midst of one — hold tight.  There will be a new awakening and your spiritual life will once again flourish.  Thus is the way of seasons here on earth as well as internally in spirit.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all those who are despondent because their spiritual lives do not seem to be nurturing them, that they may have the patience to wait for renewal.