Athletic abilities amaze me, so I love to watch football. I enjoy a long pass with a good reception, an interception, and a sack. However, I don’t enjoy time out. In a close game, the seconds seem like hours. But sometimes the big plays or turnovers come after the time outs.
And half time? I want the second half to start immediately after the band plays to find out what’s going to happen next and who’s going to win. Players need that rest, though, to hopefully return with renewed strength after adjustments are made.
I used to wish for a year without winter, to move from fall into spring. As a gardener, I didn’t want to wait another three months for my spring perennials to show up.
But, the older I get, I look forward to winter, to a still and colorless season. Although nature looks dead, it’s not. It’s dormant: inactive, asleep, suspended, making adjustments. Nothing grows without rest. Nature is simply waiting.
My yard is brown. My perennials are mostly covered with pine needles. But the suspended lilies, inactive iris, sleeping hosta and resting cherry trees will grow bigger, fuller, stronger, and maybe more colorful after their rest.
When spring comes, I’ll divide the perennials, giving myself more to enjoy. Three months isn’t too long if the results are a fragrant spring, bright summer, and golden fall.
Since 2009, The Summer of My Poison Ivy, I’ve reserved walking in the woods for the winter. My late Labrador, Hershey, liked to wander through the woods. My new puppy, Maybelle, does, too. She takes her sweet time, sniffing and inspecting every leaf and fallen branch. Nothing is hidden, so we see details we've never seen before. The leaves are softening the soil, making it more valuable. The trees are bare, making the sunsets more visible.
Psalm 27: 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord.
Waiting isn’t fun, but it’s necessary, and according to Dr. Seuss, everyone’s doing it.
Everyone is just waiting…mail to come….phone to ring…hair to grow…for Friday night… a pot to boil or a Better Break…or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting…… (from Oh the Places You’ll Go).
Not knowing what comes next can make us anxious and tired, but God strengthens our hearts while we wait. What was hidden becomes visible in the waiting. Maybe we pray more. Adjustments are made. Although it seems like a lifetime, we’re only dormant for a short time, and then we see something new, better, stronger, and brighter, maybe in ourselves or our situations.