The last month of this past winter felt hard to get through and so I was glad when the first day of Spring arrived this week, and with it the first rays of warm sunshine. This has been one of the toughest winters I remember and the snow stuck around for longer than I remember, it’s beauty long gone, hidden under layer upon layer of roadside grime. It is good to see the colour returning to the ground outside and to feel the warmth in the sun and in the breeze. Winter is over for another year and it seems to have left me feeling less young and more tired, though I put the latter down to a case of what Slovaks call “Spring tiredness”.
Seasons can be hard to get through. All of us probably have a day, or a week sometimes, which can be so blah. This last week was one of them for me. I am blaming it on my “spring tiredness”. I have lacked energy and motivation. The dishes have piled high in the sink and on the rack, and cooking was definitely of the “no frills” variety. With the emerging sun I saw more of the dirt around our home that I had missed lately but lacked the energy or the motivation to deal with it. I caught myself wishing for these days to be over and better days to come. I found myself wishing to be up on a mountain top somewhere, instead of dealing with the never-ending cycle of cleaning, washing, clearing, folding and sorting. I, and a billion other mums, I’m sure.
The trouble is that mountain top experiences are the exception rather than the rule and the majority of our days will be lived down in the real world, which for most of the people, is neither particularly glamorous nor especially exciting all the time. I realise that I need to accept that not every day I live on this good earth will be a mountain-top type day, if I want to live my life rather than wish it away. So, today, I am reminding myself that this “blah” day is still one of those days that the Lord has made, and that I am called to rejoice and be glad in it and not just wish that it were over. God calls me to walk by faith and not by sight. He calls me to trust in Him and not in myself. There are and will still be so many “mediocre” days in my life, but I don’t have to live them with a “mediocre” attitude. I can choose to do all that I do each day “heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.”(Colossians 3:23) I can choose to commit all my works unto Him and trust Him that none of my hard work is wasted.
I would love to live up on the mountain top, to be tangibly experiencing God’s glory all the time, for my heart and mind to be flooded with the reality of His goodness until I am awash in it – but then, where would I learn perseverance? When and how would I learn to trust and to exercise faith? How would I learn to stand firm, to take up my cross daily, to deny myself and follow Him? How would I ever learn humility, if not down in the trenches, with my feet in the mud, where I am daily confronted with my tendency to walk away when things get tough? There is nothing wrong with desiring more of God’s presence – He has wired us that way after all. There is nothing at all wrong with wanting more of His tangible presence in my daily life… until it becomes a condition for my obedience. God wants to see (and us to see) how we will be faithful in the mundane, when no one is looking and there is no immediate sense of blessing. He wants us to learn to sow seeds of goodness and faithfulness in the black earth of every day life. And to keep at it even when new life doesn’t spring forth immediately, even when growth is slow and weeds are abundant. He wants us to sow and to trust Him with the harvest.
Life isn’t always exciting. Life isn’t always good. Sometimes it is just blah. But we must not dismiss those days as failed days, as days that are not worth living. Each day is a gift from Him and each day needs to be committed to Him. Those are the days when I am most likely to do or say things that I will later regret, because I have written them off in my own mind and my guard is down. A hopelessness pervades my thoughts and actions and it makes me careless of my actions and my words. It makes me insensitive to others, self-protective and self-absorbed. How much would change if I remembered each day, before the day began, to commit each day to God, trusting that He will waste nothing, that He will strengthen me in the middle of the mundane and He will make my small steps of obedience and small obedient decisions significant for eternity. I may not see the sun every day of my life, but as I sow my seeds of faith, hope, and obedience, I can be sure that the day will come when the sun will break out from behind the clouds and reveal a good harvest, one that was worth waiting for and working for.
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:7-8