Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Is Not Forever

I don't understand people who love winter so much. I strongly dislike it. Hate seems a strong word, but it's pretty close. :-) Every time that insane ground hog says 6 more weeks of winter, I want to find him and blow him into next winter. :-) I am not a fan of extreme heat, but prefer it over the cold. Spring is my season. It isn't too hot or too cold. New life is appearing. Winter is everything I dislike........

Winter is harder on your vehicle.
Heating bills are higher.
It snows.
The roads are messy, you can never keep your car clean. Yuk. I think winter is also dreary. It's harder to be cheerful when everything is a dull grey around you. The lonely looking trees seem more dead than alive, with no green or signs of life.

The seasons of the year are often used to depict seasons in life. Back when I read books by Janette Oke - before I graduated on to better authors........... :-) I read a series she wrote called "Seasons of The Heart". The third book was titled "Winter Is Not Forever". I don't remember a lot about the book, but in it, everything seemed to go wrong for the main character. The winter was rough, and it seemed spring would never come, but it did, and that was another story.

Steve and Annie Chapman did a cool song several years ago, "Seasons of A Man". The first verse is sung by a little boy, the second by a teenage boy, the third by Steve Chapman, and the last, by an older man. Goes like this............

I am the Springtime
When every day seems so fine
Whether rain or sunshine
You will find me playing
Days full of pretending
When a dime is a lot to be spending
A time when life is beginning
I am the Springtime

I am the Summer
When days are warm and longer
When the call comes to wander
But I can't go far from home
When the girls become a mystery
When you're barely passing history
And thinking old is when you're thirty
I am the Summer

And I am the Autumn days
When changes come so many ways
Looking back, I stand amazed
That time has gone so quickly
When love is more than feelings
It's fixing bikes and hanging ceilings
It's when you feel a cold wind coming
I am the Autumn days

I am the winter
When days are cold and bitter
And the days I can remember
Number more than the days to come
When you ride instead of walking
And you barely hear the talking
And good-byes are said too often
I am the winter
But I'll see Spring again in Heaven
And it'll last forever

I love the song, but it's kind of sad, and it also makes me wonder where I am in the song. Since birthday #40 is 4 short months away, I would guess that would put me in the Autumn. Scary.

Winter can symbolize more than age, as in the song above. I believe a lot of us have seasons in our lives. Sometimes it is like Spring. Everything seems new and alive. We seem to live on the mountain. Or Summer. The days seem carefree, and all is right in our world. Life is like a vacation at the ocean. Or we could be in Autumn. Things aren't going too well, and it seems everything is draining us. We think things can't get worse, but they do. Winter comes. Not physically, but emotionally, spiritually. It seems we barely make it through each day. It seems the devil is fighting his hardest, and God is sitting afar off watching with disinterest to see if we will fail, or succeed. We never know when that winter might come. It can come as a result of losing a loved one. The loss of a job, discouragement, depression, or for some reason the devil just seems to declare all out war on us.

I have had those times, and oddly enough, when I have been at my lowest, the title of that Janette Oke book comes to my mind that I read so long ago......"Winter Is Not Forever".............

Perhaps one of the best stories to illustrate the cold reality of winter is found in the book "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe", one of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. When the book begins, all of Narnia is imprisoned in a never-ending winter. A land where it is always winter, and never Christmas. The White Witch rules over the land, and has made it eternally winter. If you have read the book, you know Aslan comes, and with him, comes Spring, and new life.

It seems not much good is related to winter. It can only symbolizes what is bad in life. Death, old age, loss, discouragement. Is there any good that comes out of winter? Kids enjoy playing in the snow, when we have it, but other than that, is there really any good for this horrid season of the year? If we actually get snow, that helps the farmers - something to do with the melting snow. But it also makes us thankful for the spring and summer days. When there is more to do than bundle up and try to keep warm. We have the hope that new life will come. That those ugly, dead-looking trees will be filled with green leaves. The grass will grow again, flowers will pop up everywhere. We can plant gardens, grow things.

The same can be said of the seasons of our lives. If we are in the winter of our years, Heaven can't be far away. If we are going through a winter-like experience in our life, it can make us thankful for the times when God seemed so close, and all was right in our world. Sometimes it's hard to have hope, but if we have had the good times in the past, then we can be assured that Spring will come again.

Indeed, winter is not forever. Just as spring and summer never lasts forever, so the bad times never do either. It may seem like it drags on forever. The ground hog keeps popping up and seeing more winter, but it won't last forever. Spring could be right around the corner.


Kim M. said...

I used to feel this way too. I DREADED winter. Especially when we first moved here. But I am getting used to it, and believe it or not I have actually enjoyed this particular winter.

I think the reason why is that I firmly told myself last year that I would just decide to enjoy it and be positive. Really it has helped A LOT. And the fact that I have learned to fill my winter time with some new hobbies.

I am learning sewing, and winter is a good time for those types of things. And I have a lot of good books sitting around needing reading.
(In spring it is harder for me to want to read since there are all those outdoorsy things to do).

I read the Janette Oke book you mentioned, but I don't remember much about it (even though she was always my favorite when I was a teen!).
The Long Winter by Laura Igalls Wilder is the one I remembered the most! They barely survived that winter.

Hang in there :-) Find a new hobby... like... wood burning or carving or you could always take up knitting LOL

Nancy said...

Another good thing about winter, if I recall correctly, a good, cold winter will kill "bugs" - the pesky kind and the germy ones.

Kimmy said...

Winter has Christmas, the promise of a New Year. It is cozy, a good time to stay in and read books. Blankets, sweatshirts and cocoa are all joys of Winter. The fresh fallen snow is so pure and so clean. The air feels clean. No bugs, bees or sweating. Snow days. Building a snowman, Christmas carols, It's peaceful, life slows down for a while. God created Winter and I think there is a good reason why it's such a lengthy season;-)