The Winter That Won't Go Away

This winter has been the most severe since we moved to the U.S. East Coast many years ago. The temperature always hovered between freezing and just a little over freezing. There were only a couple of times the temperature rose to over 50 degrees F for a day and they were short-lived. We could not wait till the advent of spring, when we do not have to wear thick jackets outside, and to be able to rake or blow the leaves and put mulch on the plant and flower beds and around the trees.

But yesterday, the first day of spring, it was still extremely cold and flurries started falling from the bleak sky. This morning I saw our cars and the driveway covered with two inches of snow and the white flakes were still falling. My deck is now covered with at least 5 inches and my slim Chinese bamboos towering three storeys into the sky were bent to the ground heavily covered with snow. The daffodils decorating my Mary's shrine in front of my house have been contending with the decision to bloom or not to bloom and when they finally did, they were blanketed with this white stuff.

This winter really does not want to go away. It has encroached two days into the seasonal domain of spring.

But this is not entirely an unwelcome occurrence. Children are excited going out to their front yards to build their snowmen and to throw snowballs at each other. I remember when I was younger and with my children seeing snow for the first time we were enthralled to build our first snow man, and since it looked like a woman with the features of George Washington, we named it "Martha Washington."

But I am digressing.

What this nature occurrence tells me is that, despite the advanced technology that man has been able to think up and achieve, man has not been able to fashion nature entirely to his liking. Even man's being able to send space vehicles to the moon or Mars and beyond does not equip him with the intelligence to prevent the workings of nature and to change its laws. He is just meant to adapt to it, or enjoy it, or harness its forces for his needs, or minimize the dangers that it may bring.

Nature has power, and its Author is Supreme!

This Author of Nature is not only the God of the seasons, or the wind, or the rain, or the earthquakes and the storms. This God is the God of His best creation -- Man. God fashioned man with all his attributes and capacities -- a physical body and all its parts, endowed with intellect and will, the ability to love and even to hate, the ability to build and to destroy, the capacity to choose good over evil and vice-versa.

This God also shared with Man His creative power. Man was given the power to procreate his kind. He did not design it himself. As a sharer with God in that creative power, Man becomes one of the participants in Nature, like the weather and the seasons, like the plants and the trees. The hurricanes and the tornadoes and the seasons occur following set laws of nature.

But unlike Nature, Man can go against the designs by which he was created by God. He can not only bring life into this world. He can also terminate it at any time. He can engage in the life-giving act. He can also contravene the result of that life-giving act, by preventing its accomplishment, or by destroying it. But that is very unfortunate -- for himself and his kind.

Let winter shower its snow and shower it in abundance. Spring will not mind. It will have its time. When the snow melts into the ground and replenishes the rivers and the lakes, the ground will be ready to coax the tulips and the daffodils to open their buds in the sunshine, and the cherry blossoms will fill the air with their fragrance and their beauty.

Then when Spring finally takes over, people will go out and enjoy the sun, and the magnolias, dogwoods, redbuds and crabapples in bloom. They can go fishing again in the once frozen lakes, and play on the warm beaches.

Then Summer will follow, then Fall, and then Winter once again. If Winter encroaches into Spring again like this year, that is all right. God is in control.

God is the Designer and Creator of all there is. And if we allow ourselves to be subject to Him and His laws, we will be where He is, where there will be no more severe winters, but only perpetual spring! #

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