Extremes Have A Purpose

15 Jan

“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ~Author Unknown

There is, most likely, a lot of “cursing” going on right now.  Maybe not in the literal sense; but, at least a lot of grumbling and complaining.  After all, winter seems to be packing several one-two punches on us lately.  The extreme cold accompanied by ice and snow make life miserable for many people and nearly impossible for those who have no shelter from the elements.

“I wish it were warmer.”  “I wish it were summer already.”  “I cannot wait to go to the beach again.”  These things often get said at this time of year — said by the same people who, in the summer, complain about the heat and wish for the cold of fall and winter.

Our lives seem to be about extremes.  Just as our seasons alternate between extreme heat and chill, our lives often alternate between opposites.  We begin our early years without jobs and search for employment.  All we long for is a job.  Then, when we get a job, we long for vacation or, later, retirement.  When on vacation, we often wish we were back at work.

In our spiritual lives, we have moments when we grow extremely close to the Lord.  Sometimes, too close, if that were possible.  We become so close that our spiritual experiences scare us.  We long for distance from the Lord.  When we are distant, we complain about the “desert experience” in which we have a hard time even praying.

Extremes seem to have  purpose.  They help us to appreciate what we have.  They give us a chance to look ahead, to have hope.  Extremes remind us that things can get better and also give us incentive to do what is needed because we realize things can get worse as well.

The plows are out on the streets and in the parking lots of many businesses this morning clearing away yet another snow.  The snow will continue for a while today.  We will take extra precautions whilst outside so that we do not slip and fall, injuring ourselves.  We will exercise the same caution whilst driving so that we do not have accidents.  We know that it can get bad out there.  We look forward to the days when things are bright and shiny and clear.

As we begin our day, let us remember, spiritually, to take the precautions necessary lest we slip by sinning, thus injuring the relationship that we have with God and, therefore, with one another.  We know times can get bad.  But we also know that, with God’s help, better times await.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for all those who have no shelter from the many snows and the extreme cold.  If possible, consider volunteering your time at a shelter or soup kitchen.