She inches her way onto the scene, unfolding in delicate hues of green. In the purple of the crocus and the vibrant yellow of the daffodil, I am reminded of the inevitable.
Winter is coming to a close.
A few more snow storms may descend upon the northern lands and temperatures may remain low for a while, but Spring, and all of her bird songs and blossoms is waiting just behind the curtain, eager for her time front and center.
And know this.
I have hated her subtle entrance for years. I cannot tell you how many crocuses I have cursed; how many tender, young leaves I have despised. In truth I am a Winter creature who grieves in Spring the arrival of Summer and the dreaded heat that accompanies it.
In the last few months, I have been practicing mindfulness, striving to live in the moment and appreciate the here and now. And so it happened. On a walk with my dogs, a cluster of purple crocuses engaged me in true delight! Yes, in that mindful moment the beautiful Spring bulb that gives most people hope that winter will soon end, graced me with joy.
The Apostle Paul, in the close of his letter to the Philippians, gives thanks to God for their “renewed concern” for him. “I am not saying this because I am in need,” he tells them, “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Paul learned in his ministry how to be content in the here and now. He understood that in putting one’s trust in God he could make it through anything. As we move further into Lent, a time of personal reflection, may we continue to draw on that same promise.
Remain with me here. And now. With our eyes on God, hearts rooted in Christ, and souls nourished by the Holy Spirit.