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On the Journey...
Monthly Insight From Pastor Phil Yoder
February 19, 2020
Making Friends With February
I don’t look forward to the month of February. I never have. For me, the best part of February is that we are now past January, and a close second thing is that February is the shortest month of the year. February has way too much winter, and I don’t like being cold. I’ve never been able to find much to celebrate in February. I know there is Valentine’s Day, but for most of my life I was single. And then there is Groundhog’s Day. But I don’t care much for groundhogs either. In fact, I frequently get irritated at that groundhog from Pennsylvania. You know, the one that sees its shadow nearly every year, even if it is pouring down rain, even if it has its eyes closed, and even if they pull the poor critter from its den in the middle of the night. Six more weeks of winter. How depressing! And why do we need a groundhog to tell us there will be six more weeks of winter? One doesn’t need to be a mathematical genius to look at the calendar and see that there will be six more weeks until spring whether the groundhog sees its shadow or not.
I used to complain a lot about winter, although, I don’t so much anymore. And while I still don’t like being cold, my perspective on winter has changed over the years. Winter is one of the seasons, and God gave us the four seasons for a reason. Each season is unique and brings its unique activities. I have come to see that Winter is intended to be a time of rest. I have become much happier, and much more contented since I made that observation. Most of nature rests and gets rejuvenated in winter. Nature seems to do only a bare minimum in winter. Birds do not build nests or raise their young in winter. Wild animals do not have their young in winter. Their goal is to just find enough food and survive the winter. The trees shed their leaves so they can rest, the fields do not produce crops, flowers do not bloom, the grass doesn’t grow, and so on. God designed it that even light is reduced in winter so the earth can rest and prepare for another productive year. Perhaps, we should take a lesson from nature, slow down, rest, and get restored so we are ready to be productive when Spring gets here.
I think the reason I used to dislike winter so much is that I tried to do the same things in winter that I did the rest of the year, and everything just seems to require more effort and to take longer. Perhaps God created winter, not to torture us, but for our benefit, to take a break from our endless work, to rest a little more, to get a quilt done, to read some books, put a puzzle together, develop a new talent or revive an old one, or to get together with friends and family, drink some hot chocolate, tell some good stories, and build strong relationships, to do the things we never seem to find time to do in the summer.
Over the years, I’ve learned to make friends with winter. And even though I have not become a fan of shoveling snow or frigid temps, I do kind of look forward to the next blizzard and getting snowed in for a few days.