I am not a huge fan of winter. I do not appreciate the dreary, cold days or the leaf-less trees or the shortened daylight hours. I seem to take on the nature of the weather in my outlook as I move through my day—stormy and grey.
The first thing I look forward to is the winter solstice as that signals the beginning of the days getting longer, and the next exciting thing is the coming of spring.
Something magically changes in my demeanour as the weather improves through October and November; life seems just that little more hopeful.
The days have more colour and joy and people appear to smile more. It can’t be simply related to the weather, because I have enjoyed glorious winter days and rainy and cold spring days. So what is it that is buoying my soul?
There is a curse that descends with spring too—a dreaded malady known as hay fever. Those of you who have suffered from this allergy can appreciate how debilitating this can be and most of my family (myself included) are afflicted with this.
Itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and dry throat are constant reminders that spring has sprung. Despite this negative, spring is still something I eagerly anticipate.
Again, the question is, what is the joy associated with spring? After some thought, and discussion around the office, I have reached the conclusion that the difference is the sense of hope that spring brings.
Perhaps it’s easier to embrace hope when we see the new life of spring in the world around us. Hope is such a powerful state of being. It is defined as an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on expecting a positive outcome of some description. That defines spring for me. The world seems brighter and more positive in this season and that can almost literally put a ‘spring’ in my step.
When I searched for the word ‘hope’ in the Bible I found that it was mentioned 180 times! As we read in the Psalms, God’s message for us is one of hope.
‘Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.’ (Psalm 42, verse 11)
Hope that there is more to life than just this time on Earth. If this story of hope is something that you would like to know more about I suggest you make contact with any Salvation Army corps (church) officers. They would love to explain it for you.
And remember, spring is well and truly here, so rejoice and pass the tissues.