Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Spring Has Sprung

When I was a child, about this time of year somebody would inevitably say, “Spring has sprung; the grass has ris. I wonder where the flowers is.” When I checked, I learned that the author is unknown and I also discovered that the common saying questions “where the birdies is,” rather than flowers. Anyway, that little poem keeps coming to mind, because the winter has been so warm.

The flowers have ris. Daffodils and crocus began blooming in the middle of February. Flowering bushes are now showing color, tree buds are ready to burst open, and grass is greening up.

I love Spring. It’s my favorite season of the year. I love the green grass, the splashes of color from flowers, birds returning, and farmers plowing their fields. But this year, it’s hard to be sure Spring has truly sprung.

A long cold spell and big snow could come tomorrow. Besides, the calendar says it’s winter. It’s a bit confusing. How do you know when Spring has sprung when warm days outnumber cold days all winter long?

This year reminds me of a winter in the mid to late 1980s. That year, I saw the first fully-opened daffodils on February 7. When I saw that cluster of bright yellow shining on a dreary winter day, I grieved. I wanted to tell them, “It’s too early! Go back to sleep before a cold snap comes, wilts your sunny heads, and cuts short your brief time of glory.”

But the cold snap never came and more and more flowers bloomed. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy any of them. I was too anxious about a hard freeze killing them. As weeks passed, I realized Spring arrived early that year.

But I missed it. Rather than enjoying my favorite season, I was anxious all the way through it. I felt robbed. I purposed then to never let that happen again. I can’t stop an early Spring, but I can choose to enjoy it.

This year, before mid February, I brought three daffodils into the house just before they opened, put them in a vase, and placed them where I could watch them. It felt like the sun was smiling at me as I worked. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the season this year.

It’s made me realize that there are other things in life that we might not fully enjoy in the moment. Instead, we worry about the future. How many times have we moaned our loss as we thought of our children going to school for the first time, departing to college, or for married life? Our grief over anticipated separation steals the enjoyment of the day.

Some people are hampered at work because they fear losing their job. Likewise, a diagnosis of a debilitating illness can rob today’s pleasure, because we’re anxious about what tomorrow might bring. We seem oblivious to the fact that fretting steals our energy, life, and joy. Nor do we realize that it doesn’t alleviate the pain and struggles of tomorrow. Anxiety about what might happen is not only pointless, it’s counterproductive.

In Matthew 6:34, Jesus tells us,

“Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Indeed. When we’re anxious, we add tomorrow’s trouble to today. Truly, each day already has enough trouble of its own.

Consequently, I’m enjoying our early Spring. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m relishing in the life and beauty of today— fluffy clouds against a deep blue sky, greening lawns, waving daffodils, singing birds, colorful bushes, and tree tops tinged red from opening leaf buds. All of nature is proclaiming the season.

Spring won’t be official until March 20, but it’s Spring none the less. New life is breaking forth, and I’m going to enjoy every minute.

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