March 20 was the day I’ve been waiting for – the first day of spring. To be honest, this date has been circled on my calendar since the end of October. You see, I’m not a huge fan of Winter.
Growing up in northern Indiana afforded me many opportunities to enjoy winter as a child. We had numerous hills on which to sled, friends with frozen ponds or small hockey rinks in their yard, and even an ice skating rink in the mall. Though I enjoyed spending hours with my friends playing in the wintery goodness, I never woke up hoping there would be a foot of snow on the ground. I guess you could say winter was not my favorite season, I simply tolerated it.
When I went to college, in Cincinnati OH, I found a whole new reason to like winter less and less – driving on slippery hills. Driving on icy roads is bad; driving on icy roads at a 60 degree incline is just plain miserable. Again, there were many opportunities to enjoy the wintery weather with friends. But this time, I participated a lot less. I simply waited for the snow to melt and the warm weather to begin.
Over the past few years something has changed. I have become more intentional and focused on making the most of the cold months and not living as though I’m just waiting for them to be over. I finally accepted a truth you probably already know, when you focus too much on the future you miss out on the present. Focusing on Spring to arrive without enjoying Winter is simply wasting 3 months of your year (do this for 4 years and you have wasted away an entire year of your life).
I have found the same thing to be true of the Christian life. At times, it can be easy, even natural, to focus your energy on the future. It could be focusing on Christ’s second coming, avoiding spiritual change until “such and such” happens, or waiting for someone else to take the first step. If you are waiting for a better day to take your next step of faith, you might not ever start moving. Instead of tolerating your current spiritual status and longing for change, make today the first day of a changed you.