ROSCOMMON, MI – By the time you read this article, hopefully the snow will be melted and spring will be bursting forth with sunshine, flowers and new growth. Here at Bambi we have been covered up with the white stuff for what seems life forever. As spring breaks through everything that was once covered in a sheet of white is becoming visible again. A hammer I thought I lost has turned-up again. Covered-up projects left uncompleted are now back on the to-do list along with the unfinished landscaping that was so easy to ignore as long as you couldn’t see it. Since the snow has melted everything that was once hidden has become visible again and requires some attention.
Honestly, as much as I get tired of the snow, it is nice to have a rest from weeding, mowing, edging, and all the other yard maintenance stuff. Nevertheless, left unattended the grass and the weeds will become overwhelming and difficult to cut back. I know this for a fact because I have often ignored yard work and just the thought of mowing and trimming the yard back into a manageable situation is overwhelming. The longer it is ignored the more difficult it is to fix and so on and so on. If I would just do regular maintenance on the yard it would never grow out of control.
Well, such is life.
I don’t like it, but it’s true. My natural tendency in dealing with conflict, relational issues, or frustrating circumstances of any kind is to ignore it and hope it goes away. Often, in the moment it seems so much easier to ignore the situation. It is easier to cover it up with rationalization, denial or busyness. If I can keep my mind preoccupied then I do not have to think about the problems. Obviously, this does not fix anything. Unfortunately, as broken humans, we use all sorts of coping mechanisms or escapes to white-out anything we don’t want to deal with or see. I like to dive into a project I really enjoy so I can validate the time I’m not spending on fixing the problem. No matter your choice of escape, all are equally wrong because it reinforces our selfish, sinful nature,and denies an opportunity for God to intervene. My pride will keep me from experiencing God’s provision. My pride will keep me from experiencing God’s healing in me and those around me. This will prohibit new growth and fresh life in my relationship with Christ. Spiritual/life maintenance is crucial to our spiritual growth.
Colossians 3:12-14 tells us, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” As God’s children we are to live life with compassion, humility, meekness and patience so we can continually maintain our relationships with others by holding them up in times of need, and forgiving. Love is to be our default heart condition - we should never be without it! Oh the frustration, anger and stress we would avoid if we just maintained our lives with these Godly actions. Imagine the growth we would experience if we just act out of God’s love and not our own selfishness. Imagine the warmth of healing melting away the cold of bitterness. Celebrate, it’s spring!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.