DayBreaks for 6/07/17: The Cold Season of Life
From the DayBreaks archives, June 2007:
It may seem strange, now as the rays of the late-spring sun pour themselves willy-nilly through the window and dance on the floor to be writing about a cold season of life, or of “the winter of our discontent.” But, ideas, like guests, sometimes come when they choose, and who can tell where and when the Spirit will move with an idea or thought or a challenge? So, without fear of being called crazy, I write today to share some thoughts about the cold season of life, as inspired by Jamie Langston Turner, from Winter Birds, posted in Christianity Today, 5/30/07:
“I am in the cold season of life, and the words that come to mind as I rise in the morning are these: “Now, is the winter of our discontent.” I borrow them from William Faulkner, a fellow Mississippian, who lifted them from Shakespeare, who put them into the mouth of the Duke of Gloucester, also known as Richard III. Though I am hardly the villain Richard III was, I am no saint. Though I have not murdered, I have used words to maim and destroy. Though I repudiate the notion of conscience, as did Richard, I do not rest easy at night. Often when I wake in the morning, it is after few hours of troubled sleep. I cannot sleep long for fear that I will let go of living. Rather a winter of discontent than no winter at all.”
In fairness, I don’t yet think that I’m in the cold season of life. I do find the mornings a bit more chilly than it seems they were just a year or two ago. Can anyone say, “Circulation?” Part of the challenge is that, in the final analysis, we never know when we are in the cold season of life. Many are struck down in the springtime, when the flower and bloom of life should just be appearing. Yet, little did they know, they were in the cold season of life. Still, I must agree with the writer, that it is better to have a winter of discontent than none for a variety of reasons:
FIRST: if we are in the advanced years, we have had the blessing of a life – whether good or bad. And how intriguing it is that even those who have lived what we might think are the most difficult and hard lives are often the most grateful. They’ve learned that life isn’t about what you have, but about Who you know and what you’ve invested your life in that matters. So it was that in the cold season of his life, the apostle Paul could say, “I am ready to be offered up…”.
SECOND: memories. There are good things to remember in looking back. Memory was important to Israel – even the memory of the captivity and Exodus, the memories of the exile, were important because they resolved to learn from those things. It is instructive to note that after the Exile, the Jews never again involved themselves in idolatry. Even in the cold season of life we can look back and remember the warmer, sun-filled days that quickened our breath and heartbeat, and give thanks to the One who gave us such simple joys.
Yet, I must protest the woman’s statement about not being a saint. Who among us saints is really a saint? We’ve not earned the title, after all. We have maimed and destroyed in our own ways, time and time again. And we do not rest easy for it. Yet if we are to accept God as God and His Word as the Truth that sets us free, believer – you are a saint. No less than 62 times in the NT is the term applied to Christians. Never because of our outstanding performance, but because God through Christ has made us holy and righteous. Believe it?
PRAYER: Thank you for the days of our lives, the moments and instances, like snapshots, that live on in our memories! May our longing vision to see you grow stronger as the days grow colder. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>