Friday, May 02, 2014

Spring – Reviving and Renewing (Peter Black)

No doubt about it – winter’s past and spring has sprung. We waited long and hard. . . endured – put up with it, because we had no option. After an interminably long and cold hard winter nature’s busy hailing the message that springtime is alive and well.

See it all around us in field and forest, wayside ditches and urban gardens. Hear it from the birds in their singing and courting calls, and observe their industrious nest-building.
Who hasn’t longed to flee the land of ice and snow for a breakaway to a tropical paradise? What an attractive prospect in winter – the thought of sipping cool drinks, munching tropical fruits and reclining under the shade of stately palm trees on white sandy beaches by blue lagoons! But, the marvels of changing seasons and the respite they bring are climatic events I’m sure I would miss, if I lived in those equatorial climes that have perennial summertime.

It’s amazing how quickly some of us who find the cold and dark of winter a harrowing experience can get over it. I sensed that process happening once spring decidedly asserted itself and demonstrated its power to renew the natural world around us and revive the spirit within us.

This, I declare, is a benefit of the northern hemisphere. Whereas a season may bring its own discomforts for some of us the anticipation and eventual realization of moving into the next season can be truly refreshing. For example, when transitioning from a bitterly cold winter to spring, or from a stifling hot summer to fall.
 The saying, a change is as good as a rest, while not fitting every situation, still quite often holds relevance.
Recently my collegial friend Kim reflected in her blog post about a trip to Israel she made last year. She tells of her tour group’s visit to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, which some believe may be the true site of Jesus’ burial and resurrection.
Numerous groups from various countries sang and prayed in their own languages, and yet all were there for the same purpose – to commemorate our Saviour’s death and burial and to celebrate His resurrection. The experience moved her deeply, and she felt it gave her a foretaste of what heaven must be like. Her experience stirred my memories of also being at the Garden Tomb, quite some years ago.  
May and I left Ontario’s late January ice and snow and, after catching the tour flight in New York, landed at Tel Aviv, Israel, in spring-like weather. The change had begun, although the tour was extremely busy, with 6AM rises and constant travelling, walking and sightseeing from morning until night. So much for the change, but what about the rest? That came more in an emotional and spiritual way, than in the physical.
The tour took us to places we’d read about – historical places and archaeological digs. Our basic knowledge of Bible characters and events was enhanced by our visiting those sites that attested to their historical veracity. The pages of Scripture came alive to us in a fresh way. It was exhilarating and faith affirming.
Reminds me of the old hymn: My faith has found a resting place / Not in device nor creed  / I trust the Ever-living One / His wounds for me shall plead. // I need no other argument / I need no other plea / It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me.*
*L.H. Edmonds; Public Domain.

Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing). Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X. The book has found a place in various settings with a readership ranging from kids to senior adults.

His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate (of Southwestern Ontario). His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. Peter’s current book project comprises a collection of 52 column articles, interspersed at points with brief inspirational statements of encouragement.

The original edition of the above post was written for and published May 1, 2014, in The Guide.

Blog: raiseyourgaze
Contributor: Family and Faith Matters


Tracy Krauss said...

I often find that a change is as good as a rest. All the best

Glynis said...

I'm singing along with you, Peter! Lovely overview prompting me to stop whining and start appreciating the beauty of where I am planted!
Glad you were able to tread those sands and walk where Jesus trod. What an amazing experience it must be to consider the history and to realize the privilege it was to be where Jesus - the Son of God had lived and breathed. Great reflections, Peter! Thanks for sharing the journey!

Kathie Chiu said...

I always experience a mental and emotional rest when I travel. And of course you can't detach the spiritual from that triad. Thanks for sharing!

Kimberley Payne said...

Peter, my trip to Israel was most definitely an emotional and spiritual rest. I am still processing all that I experienced. You write so eloquently...thanks for taking me back to this memory of the Garden Tomb.

Susan Harris said...

I hear you about the perennial summers, Peter. We have rainy and sunny seasons in Trinidad which could easily morph into one. My restless spirit needed more, although my recent fall on the ice has left me reflective. Great piece. Have a nice day.

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

Thank you for sharing, Peter! I love the change of seasons too, but unlike most people I hate to let go of winter. I do enjoy the spring when new life appears, and I sure love the springs of my spiritual journey. I love that hymn--it is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me!

Peter Black said...

Thanks everyone, your generous reflections are fit to inspire.
Hmm. it seems that I rushed too early into waxing wordy about the belated spring, since in our part of the country we've had a return to cool, wet weather. But, April showers in May? . . . Not too bad, really. (No one wants flooding, though.)
Enjoy a blessed weekend. :) ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

As I read your comments, I reflect on my own trip to the Holy Land visiting the tomb, walking the Delarosa and sitting on the Mount of Olives. Thanks for taking me there again.

Peter Black said...

You too, Donna? I'm glad you also had that wonderful opportunity and experience.
Our Israel trip included a couple of days in Jordan, with a visit to Petra and Jeresh --marvellous.
A Christian businesswoman, whom we'd known for many years, gave us the trip--all expenses paid. She said the Lord told her to send us! Yeah, I really think she got it right . . . BIG :)! ~~+~~

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