We are now in the heart of Winter. Until Spring approaches, the hopes of holiday gatherings are over.
Many people leave for work when it is dark and come home when it is dark. We are surrounded by darkness. If you live in the Northeast, you often bundle up for the day and have no clue what type of weather will await you when you exit your home.
It is very difficult to find life in the midst of winter.......but it is not impossible.
You will not find life in television or media during the Winter. I am an avid football fan but watching football does not bring life during the cold Winter months. We experience temporary joy when our team wins and a moment of frustration (or two) when they lose; however, we move on. Searching for life, we attempt to binge watch our favorite show for the next few months. Then we discover that the ending of the show was not as we had hoped---hope is deferred for another moment, another day.
If you have not noticed, we are lacking creativity in our homes, churches, communities, and workplaces. And the places and people that are engaging in creativity are the ones that are thriving. Those that are thriving are not just experiencing a financial success---they are content. Their soul is right, rested, and responding with creativity. Some people are able to create for a living but others do this in their free time. It is ESSENTIAL to create.
In the Gospels, Jesus promises an abundant life when we follow him. This sounds like a great deal; however, we often misinterpret his promise for abundance. We begin to only measure abundance as far as material things: money, house, cars, possessions, etc. We forget that the greatest blessings are the ones that give us life: Jesus, faith, family, friends, and Creation. And this is where we find life.........
In Creation (outside), we experience the Creator (God) who also gives us a desire to create. You think people jwho hunt wild animals in the dead of winter just because they have nothing better to do? Most hunters that I know admit that they enjoy being out in nature--whether they "catch anything" or not. Music, writings, art............these things are not just for stoic folks who read Classical Literature all day long.
Imagine this.........a song that speaks to the deepest parts of your soul.
Imagine this..........a book or quote that reminds you of God's plan for you.
Imagine this.........a photo that is a reminder of the pain and trials you have endured to get where you are right now.
Connect with music, books, and art this Winter. Get outside and enjoy the stillness and peace of Winter. In Spring and Summer, constant noise awaits us as soon as we step outside: lawnmowers, cookouts, home improvement projects. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Read some books that you know you have avoided because they speak to the brokenness within.
We must slow down and enjoy each Season for what it is worth. There is life to be found even in the places we least expect.