As I’m writing this, I am what I wrote. Grumpy! I am also in pain. My neck hurts and feels like Bruce Lee just chopped into the side of my neck. My elbow has been hurting me for three weeks, inhibiting me from working out, and doing the things I want to. Oh, lets not talk about that looming dentist check up I’m due for…like 10 years overdue for (I’ve been poor for quite some time, have pity for me?) And the sun, does it even exist? I mean its January in the cold north, but c’mon….and it goes on and on.
It’s no secret. The winter doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in us. The weather doesn’t naturally bring us outside as it does during summer. In summer, the sun calls us into its warm sunny playground, asking us to drink deeply of its days of summer. Come the winter solstice, the sun becomes more like that grumpy friend who at his best day growls some sort of complaint, and so is bestowed to us the same tendency. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who is just ENRAPTURED by the dark of winter. “Oh YAAY, darkness, cool air on my neck, weather to make my joints stiff, kind of like……when I DIE!”
So what is the solution? Many people have different ways of coping with winter. From the rich northerly traditions of Minnesota, people often find relief in outdoor sports like cross country skiing, snow-shoeing, winter camping, and hunting. Sometimes we turn our ski slopes into tubing hills, in which we SCREAM down hills in inner tubes, for those who can’t stand up on wooden planks on a hill.
Me? What do I do? Well I like to think about what I would do, ideally. Because what I currently do is not all that exciting (saunas….thats all I have to say). I think the best way to do winter would be to build myself a mountain chalet. One right on the side of some mountains, with a huge fireplace. No four fireplaces, so there could be nice little circles of discussion and activity around each. One could be the Irish music circle, where men and women both old and young could sing Irish songs outloud to each other while sipping “spiced” cider, with toothless grandpa dancing a jig around everyone. Or another circle could have CS Lewis read his books to us, and give a commentary to everything (yes, in this world CS Lewis would be alive). And then in the back, Jesus would be leading Sunday School type lessons, with felt-boards recounting how silly Peter looked when he learned he couldn’t walk on water….
Wait, Jesus in the back? But isn’t that what we do sometimes? Were down, depressed, blue, and what do we do? Take a look at our bookshelves, “Hm, what does CS Lewis have to say about winter blues?” Or maybe we go to alcohol and drink the blues away right into bed. Or do you cry out to the maker of your body? Do you talk to the artisan of the Universe who thought of the idea of darkness and snow before you were born? Do you ask the architect of seasons who made them just the way he wanted to, and ask him to help you? The Word of God says, we don’t have things, because we don’t ask. Are you asking? Just sayin’.
Join me in recalibrating our worldview, so that God once again rests at the core of our lives, the All Sufficient One, the Gracious One, the Understanding One, the Healing One, the only force in the Universe capable of blowing away the winter blues with the fresh warm air of His Word!!
Perhaps winter is one of those classrooms where God sits at the fringes just waiting, just waiting to teach you, to show you just how sufficient He is.