Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Solstice – A New Beginning

I’ve been cooped up inside at night for several nights over the past few weeks as the weather has been cloudy, rainy and cold. Typically, I like to spend several minutes outside at night on my back porch – just staring up at the stars and the moon. I obviously lead a rather simple life, but I have to say that spending some time alone on the back porch in the cold night air, looking up at the sky is one of my favorite things to do. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to some clear nights again as soon as this cloudy air mass can leave our area.

Have you noticed the dark days recently? I notice it especially on the drive home from work. During the summer months, when it would stay light up until after 8:00 pm, it now starts to get dark at around 5:00 pm. Winter Solstice is the shortest day, or the longest night of the year, and is marked as the beginning of winter for us in the U.S. But it is also the reversal of the gradually lengthening nights and shortening days. In other words, after December 21st, the days will start to lengthen giving us more sunlight during the daytime hours. This progresses until the summer solstice which happens around June 21st.

I am no scientist or history buff and cannot fully explain in further detail all the nuances of the solstice or solar system in general. But I am made to pause and consider that as we near the end of 2008, we end the year in a reversal of day light and night time. And speaking in terms of metaphors, the earth itself has gone through a transition of birth, growth, and prosperity in the spring and summer months to a transition of harvest, fading, falling, and dieing in the fall and winter months. Winter officially begins on Sunday, 21st. So we still have a few more months of winter before spring arrives.

So as we near the end of this year, and approach the changing of another season, I’d like to focus my life, and challenge myself more to grow closer and stronger IN CHRIST. Just as each day after the winter solstice becomes longer and longer – ever so gradually, just as the moon each night grows larger and larger after a new moon – ever so slowly, I want to commit myself to grow stronger and stronger in Christ. I know and understand that it will take time. Just as my children long for the first days of summer, they must learn patience through waiting and take one day at a time – making the most of the time that is afforded.

One big area in which I need focus on is the fact that I must fear God.
Job 28:28, Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 15:33

I should not put my trust in myself, any other man, or even in the God’s beautiful creation. Deuteronomy 4:7, Deuteronomy 4:8, Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 4:19, Deuteronomy 4:39, Deuteronomy 4:40

Father God - Lord you are awesome. I know that you love me, but I do not understand why. I am a sinner and I choose often to please myself rather than to obey you. I thank you for your love, mercy and grace. I pray Lord that you will bless me with that same spirit that you have, that I may love others as you do. I read the story of Jonah tonight Lord, and I realize that I too judge others in spite of myself – just as Jonah did. Forgive me when I feel that others do not deserve your love, and I somehow do. Forgive me when I act like the older brother of the prodigal and do not celebrate when others return to you and find your love. Change me Lord, into what you want me to be. Work in me, and work on me, but I pray that you will be merciful to me. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. That time on the back porch is good, quiet time with God. We all should do that. Have a Merry Christmas!