Now is the winter of our discontent? Thoughts on the season.

The following is an article I wrote for the Salvage Yard monthly newsletter:

‘Tis the season to be (fill in the blank), falalalalalalalala.  The song advocates for its carolers to be jolly, but for many, that is near impossible considering the season at hand.  Why is it considered to be such a terrible and depressing season, and in what ways can it be redeemed?

Winter embodies and represents many things that challenge its inhabitants.  At the very beginning of the season the holidays overwhelm us and wear us down.  For some, the obligations of the holidays leave us literally and metaphorically spent.  For others, the holiday season represents the worst in us, as the over-commercialization of the religious season banes us. Finally, the season itself wears us down physically with the retreat of daylight and the sun’s warm rays.

All of these are legitimate claims against the season, but the season also provides unique opportunities for growth and transformation.  It is true that the biting cold limits our “active” activities, but it is also an opportunity for us to work on our “passive” activities. Winter has been looked upon as a season of contemplation, and I think we need to reclaim.  In fact, I think we need to reclaim the seasons as a spiritual discipline of Christian faith-life.

We Minnesotans are fortunate to have all four seasons, and in such extremes!  The physical changes in the world help us to reflect and adapt to the spiritual changes in ourselves.  Spring is seen as a time of rebirth and fostering our energies in light of the season of action (Summer).  Fall forces us to reflect on our actions as well as to reflect on the significance of our lives, all in preparation for the season of stillness and quiet (Winter).  Winter is a unique time for spiritual contemplation and growth.  Take the time to read that book you got on spiritual growth, take the time to w the snowflakes fall; take the time to sit in the stillness of the night in prayer, and take the time to meditate on the previous year and how you want to grow in the next.

How do you take advantage of the season for spiritual growth, or, what thoughts and questions do you have about this seasons and its potential for spiritual growth? Lettuce discuss!

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