The word itself represents mixed images. For some, it summons scenes of mile-high drifts and seemingly endless driveways and sidewalks on the other end of a weary shoveler. Still others see images of nature, blanketed in white; while nary a sound is heard.
Living in Southern California for nearly 30 years, leaves the definition of winter as something admittedly different from most of the rest of the world. For us, it is a time to don sweatshirts, jackets, and embrace the anticipation of days that are sunny. It invites weather that is envied by most. (Don’t worry! We pay our dues during the season of summer, when temperatures soar to 120 degrees!)
The older I get, the more I see God’s wisdom in defining the seasons. Regardless of variables due to geography, for me, each of the seasons serves as an invitation to physically embrace what is represented. Winter also offers the opportunity to evaluate what is encouraged spiritually by nature’s model of stillness and rest.
Much of our culture today, embraces a marketplace standard; meaning that it is defined by a corporate work day, followed by activities and ending with a little bit of time for family. Days gone by, used an agrarian or farming standard by which the seasons were measured. The days began at sun up, and when sun down came, families gathered around fires and in common areas to share stories and wisdom with one another. Age has taught me that a lot of God’s wisdom rests in the latter standard.
It is so easy to allow the tyranny of both the urgent as well as the measures of good and better to crowd out what is best for my life. There is a constant battle that rages within the human spirit (well, mine at least) to define worth and accomplishment by “doing”, “busyness”, and worthwhile activities. True and adequate rest becomes something seen in the distant future when age has taken its course, or there is simply “nothing worthwhile really left to do.”
While attitudes of productivity and purpose aren’t always bad, I am reminded that underneath it all, nature during the season of winter, is beckoning with an invitation to stillness. It encourages the pursuit of warmth; not only from nestling down with perhaps a blanket and a good book, but warmth that comes from experiencing a more serene and peaceful life. Slowing down and resting in the moment is a discipline. It encourages the birth of peace, which provides an atmosphere for renewal and perhaps restoration. Winter invites fellowship and an opportunity to pursue deeper knowledge. It naturally offers an environment in which I can freely say, “Come. Let’s sit awhile and fellowship.”
God in his infinite wisdom knows my nature and sees my busyness. He is the author of relationship and the giver of all good things.
Often, in my ability to “flip on a light” in order to power through for “just a few more hours”, I am choosing to rob myself of time that perhaps would be best spent in quiet communion with others and with my Savior. I need to breathe. Breathing involves inhaling; which, if you think about it, always includes a pause and the act of filling up!
Yes, winter is a good thing. It is a God-ordained thing. And I can rest, as that wise sage Solomon so simply stated, in the fact that everything belongs to a season, in its proper time, which produces purpose.
Let it snow!
Teri is a believer in God, Family, and Community, and Lover of Leadership Education The Thomas Jefferson way. Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 24 down to 11, one Hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. Find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest.