“The call of the morning bird at daybreak lets me know winter has given way to spring. Today, I notice for the first time the arrival of color outside my library window. It may have been there for weeks, it may have sprung from limbs just before dawn. It does not matter. Today, the bird called out to me, “Nature has awakened from its slumber. And so should you.”
It finally happened. The Cherry Blossom tree outside my library window began to bud this morning, but not like in the previous six springs before. By now, they should already be a brilliant white, looking like a stunning field of lilies captured on tree limbs. A sight I’d begin to mourn the passing of as the leaves gave way to the more familiar summer green.
Unfortunately, this year the death- like sleep that is the winter hibernation season lingered on too long. Most of the buds that have managed to emerge are a dull red mixed in with the precious few strong enough to reach their early April beauty. What is to become of the rest? Will they limp into the green season or just give up all together?
I wrote that about a week ago. The next morning, the day was greeted by the loud buzz of bees swarming the tree. The sound was intense and almost frightening. There was an intentionality that filled the still brisk morning air. This scene was repeated for a couple of days and then the bees were gone just as fast as they had appeared and the tree had blossomed into its full springtime beauty. The bees had come to the rescue, doing one of the things they were created to do, that is to help nature awaken from its slumber.
I know abundant life is out there if I can just get out of the bed of despair that seems too heavy to lift out of on many days lately. Just before the sun begins to rise, the morning birds call out, singing, “the day is going to begin with or without you.” If I can find the resolve, or stubbornness, to rise out of this bed and immerse myself in the Word, even if its just for a short time, then I can find the strength to face the day and even enjoy the beauty awakening all around me.
Up until recently, it was certainly a battle to get out of bed and face the tediousness of another day just like the many before that promised me little or nothing in return for my efforts. I can’t say much has changed in my day to day life from a standpoint of economics and opportunities, but I’m feeling a little better about my day to day life.
What’s changed in the last three months? Mindset wise, quite a bit. Writing this blog has had an unexpected consequence, or rather benefit. It has helped my focus. Not just on getting on with my life in the “day to day” experience, although that is a nice part of what is going on here. I’m praying more. I’m thinking more about theology, and as a result, I’m finding now that I’m able to find rest in Christ more than I have in a long time.
It’s one thing to write a poem or a blog about taking up J’s offer to cast my burdens on Him. It’s quite another thing to actually do it.
I know for myself, that it’s much harder, almost impossible, to rest period when things are not going my way. Especially when nothing seems to be going my way. I’m supposed to go to Christ to receive his rest, but if I’m honest, the reality is that if I’m going to get that rest, he’s going to have to bring it to me. And fortunately, He does.
The beauty of theology, for me anyway, is that I not only learn more about my Creator/Lord/ Father/Friend when I am engaged in it, theology is literally the “study of God” after all, but it also brings me closer to him. That’s an obvious assessment, I know. The bonus is, or extra credit to keep the analogy going for a moment, that I’m spending more time with him. And that’s what our Father desires, communication with his children.
A blog I wrote just a few days ago, touches on CS Lewis’ idea that we were, in a sense, designed to run on God. It’s certainly true that I have more energy and passion not just for Christ but for life in general when I am focused on him. Here, I am coming back to that whole abundant life thing again.
I imagine if I were to have any marching orders for myself today it would be to keep moving forward. Christ encourages us to worry about today and let tomorrow worry about itself. Amazing how Christ’s words and wisdom all tie together. Christ’s calling us to rest in him enables us to let tomorrow be anxious for itself.