Tornadoes have struck. They have become the announcement of spring.
Those living in cold climates are ready to pull out of the frost and ice. They have been waiting for the season that promises signs of new life: trees in bud, flowers poking up through the warmed soil, new life. Even baby chicks and bunnies have associated themselves as symbols of spring too.
But spring doesn’t come gently. New life never does. It comes with a struggle. Thunder booms through the angry clouds and winds swirl with fierce destruction. For many, that’s the announcement of this gentle season.
It’s like old ways giving up to new. Often, the old must be pushed out. It wants to hang on. One more winter storm. But it’s time. It’s time for a new season. There is conflict as one strengthens its grip and the new starts to make its way.
As giving birth is met with labor so is the birth of new seasons and new ways.
Pain shot through my back and nothing could make them go away. It was my body preparing to usher out what had been a part of me for nine months. The beauty of our firstborn didn’t come without struggle.
It was different with our second. Where before there had been pain this time it was only a heaviness. Our son was pushing down and I had to know the signs to accommodate his birth.
Change doesn’t always happen the same way. New life and new seasons don’t come without effort.
Students in our area are trying to effect political change hoping to make schools safer. It’s met with strong opposition and criticism.
Men we work with are trying to change their lives and discovering it’s not easy. It’s more than not drinking or using. It’s a work that has to start deep within sometimes bringing forth storms before seeing new growth.
Our area of South Florida doesn’t have seasons. If there are signs of spring here they are too subtle to make note of. But I dread the tornadoes that will strike throughout the south this time of year. It seems too high a price to pay for the gentleness we associate with spring.
Birth always means labor. Change often comes with a fight.
The less familiar second part of the Serenity Prayer reminds us acceptance is the answer. Not an easy answer but the pathway to peace provided by the Prince of Peace.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
Where is the new trying to break through in your life?
Do you recognize acceptance as the pathway to peace?