It’s so cold. I’ve been inside for well over half an hour and my toes still feel the numbness of winter. I’m beginning to hate this season. It’s cold, lifeless, colorless, and the older I get, the less appeal winter has. When I was a kid, I loved this season. Snow was fun back then. I loved laying in it, playing in it, sledding in it. I could spend hours outside unaware of the creeping numbness in my fingers, toes and the end of my nose. I didn’t mind snowflakes hitting me in the face. I opened my mouth and counted them as they fell. These days, I zip the collar of my coat as far as it can go, hunch my shoulders to protect every part of my neck from the cold and run any time I’m outside; I hate the cold.
Aside from the discomfort of coldness, I dislike winter because things are either die or go dormant this time of year. If I could hibernate through winter, I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but I can’t. Every morning, I force myself out of bed against the protest of my flesh lusting after sleep. I really struggle with motivation this time of year. I have to force myself to do almost everything, including get out of bed. Necessity drives me during this season, otherwise, I wouldn’t do anything. Bears are so lucky. I force myself to get up. I force myself to write. I force myself to care whether or not chores get done and whether or not meals are healthy. I force myself to stick to discipline, and not just the discipline of my children, but the self-discipline I prize most of the year. I force myself to stick to it during winter. I really don’t like to. I force myself to be an extrovert when in this season, I’d rather retreat into myself, hole up in my bedroom, snuggle far under the covers and think for hours on end. No movement. No real purpose. Just thinking. Warm and cozy under the covers. Life doesn’t accommodate this kind of recreation. I hate winter. Life requires so much work in the wintertime.
I hate winter because the sun doesn’t kiss me as often. I miss that. I miss blue skies and warm breezes. I miss vibrant colors. I miss the birds and their early morning serenades. I miss frogs and their deep, throaty evening lullabies. I miss crickets. I miss warm clothes fresh off the clothesline. I miss using the clothesline. I miss nighttime strolls and cotton-candy sunsets. I hate winter.
The more I sit here and reminisce about summertime, the more I realize how strong the resemblance between winter and my spiritual life lately. I’ve become weary in my spirit lately. Things are cold and lifeless inside of me. My devotion to God seems to be dormant. Still there, still alive but very sluggish lately. I have to force myself to enter into His presence. I miss Him like crazy, but I’m so unmotivated to move toward Him. I’m not okay with this. I hate it! But still …
The sunshine seems to be nothing more than a memory. The warmth that use to be between us has been replaced by this creeping coldness. I know within myself that this can be fought, but I don’t want to move. I want to crawl under something warm and cozy and think about Him and me. Think about how good things use to be. Think about how things could be now if I’d just get up and move toward Him. Think aimlessly with no real intentions of doing anything other than snuggle under my blanket of complacency and become enveloped by it.
Through all of this, I hold on to this one thing: Summer’s coming. It happens every year. The sun eventually comes out and stays for a while. The days grow longer and sunsets once again become strikingly beautiful. Birds and crickets sing an endless song as days and nights dance around one another. Life emerges from what has, for a season, been dead. Colors burst forth from the dull grayness that for so long pervaded the world. Yes, dear heart of mine, summer’s coming.
I need more than spring. I need more than the budding of life, the awakening of something new and beautiful. I need a flourishing! I need warmth! I need the heat of a summer’s sun. I need something that ignites me again. I need a summer. In my spirit man, I need a summer. I need deep color and beauty, a passionate song, a revival! I need a summer, and I hear in my heart, “Summer’s coming!”