“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
I’ve been tired lately. The kind of tired that makes you feel like you’re moving under water. I feel like Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.” I’m at the bottom of the pool. Above me, people are living life and being productive, but man, the inertia’s a killer and I just can’t summon the energy to move towards the surface.
It’s nothing new. It happens every February. I get tired and curmudgeonly. I am a creature who thrives in the sun, turning my head to it like a sunflower. When the days are dark and have been for a while and will be for a while more, I get slow. My petals curl in and I hunker down to wait for the big thaw.
We are designed to live a cyclical life.
- Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall.
- Sunrise. Sunset.
- Peas and carrots. Cake and ice cream.
- Puberty and menopause.
- Work and play.
- Solitude and company.
We need it all in even measure.
But we are not even-keeled creatures. We like to rock the boat, even against our better, God-given nature. We think, yes! to the all-nighters in high school until we’re drooling a puddle on our desks in third period. We think, yes! to an all-greens diet in January, but the world is murky at the bottom of another spinach smoothie. We think, yes! to love and getting married and then can’t understand why we don’t “feel the love” all the time. We think, yes! to this new Bible study and daily devotion and get cranky when it doesn’t hit the spot each and every morning.
I’ve been re-reading “Little Women” lately and happened upon the speech Marmee gives Jo after Amy burns her precious book.
“My dear,” she says, “don’t let the sun go down upon your anger. Forgive each other, help each other, and begin again tomorrow.”
Honestly, I’ve always felt it was a little trite, too pedantic. Louisa May Alcott created a caricature instead of a character.
But in my February malaise, I read it differently.
The sun going down is a big deal.
It is a necessary demarcation of the end of one day before the beginning of the next. In it, God is reminding us that we must continue to change. And it is a comfort. Change keeps us moving. We are not stuck in the gray of winter or the vortex of hormonal teenager-dom or sleep-deprived new parenthood or the unnerving middle years or the anger that happened yesterday or the burst of manic energy that will happen tomorrow. We are moving. God is moving us.
He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows we’d come to a screeching halt at one roadside attraction or another. We’d set up camp when we were only meant to sightsee and move on.
And so, He moves the world for us. He changes the scenery even as we stand still. He brings in friends and takes them away. He brings about children and grows them up. He gives love in marriage that ebbs and flows, sometimes a tidal wave and sometimes a drought.
Right now I am ready for spring. I am ready for new life. But when the time comes, I will also try to be ready for summer humidity, and children growing up, up, and away like shoots off a maple tree, and golden years, and sleeping and waking, and peace after anger, and salads and chocolate, and company and silence, and all the rest He knows I need.
For “as long as the earth endures,” He will keep moving us along. And amen to that.
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A big thank you from Jamie on The Mom Gene!