Late October in North Central Alberta reminds me that winter is quickly approaching. We experienced our first hard frost over two weeks ago, followed by a week of sub-freezing temperatures and isolated snow showers. Although our long-range forecast shows an upswing, it will be short-lived. I am heading out this coming week to purchase some items I will need during the long winter ahead. My choices will matter.
After a challenging year of government decreed isolation, I must admit I am not looking forward to the winter isolation that comes naturally to someone who lives with a disability in a Northern climate. I am sure we are all sick and tired of the phrase, ‘difficult season’, but unfortunately, that is where most of us are at these days.
We have a few choices to make, you and I, and our decision is more important than the X we place on an election ballot or the supplies we store for the coming season.
1. Determine to whom or where you will place your hope. Anything and anyone else rather than Jesus Christ and the promises of God will eventually disappoint you.
2. Determine who or what will dictate your emotional state on any given day; outward and inward circumstances or disciplined thought life. (Philippians 4:8, 1 Timothy 1:7)
3. Be proactive. Determine to plan for the next few months. If not, you will drift along, allowing outside and internal sources to affect your emotional and physical health.
What do I mean by that? In the same manner that I choose what items I will stock up on, I carefully plan what I will need to thrive over the coming months, both spiritually and emotionally. I have limited capacity in the natural to store items, so I must be selective as to what I bring in my home. I have limited emotional and mental storage capacity as well.
What will you watch, read, and listen to? Choices matter. Will you feed your fears with speculations and rumours or will you feed your hope and faith through wholesome and inspirational books, documentaries, uplifting music, and light-hearted comedies. Laughter is an essential dietary supplement needed for one’s mental health.
Will you challenge your mind through learning a new skill or exploring a new creative pursuit, or will you numb yourself through mindless Netflix marathons and video games while curled up on the couch?
I firmly believe that if I remain faithful and pure of heart, I will see the promise of new life and fresh growth in the small seedlings within my spirit that might appear dormant during the upcoming winter. Bitterness, resentment, hopelessness, lethargy, resignation, and self-pity do nothing to lift the gloomy clouds of a spiritual November in my life. These attitudes only harden the soil of my heart, making it difficult, if not impossible, for new life to spring forth at God’s appointed time.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden