Today is one of those warm fall days right after a cold spurt that almost has you thinking that winter will never come. I love these days because they remind me that though winter is just around the corner, it doesn't last forever. Spring is in fact to follow the dreadful months of dark and cold. But I also get agitated with days like today. Do you think me a fool?? I know winter is coming! I will not let my guard down! Yes, I know it seems slightly dramatic. However, you must understand that winter to me is not just a season, but rather a nemesis I live to conquer. My Northern friends may laugh at my sincere hatred for what they see as "mild winters" here in the WNC mountains, but I was raised on tropical islands and Southern China where the cities feel like giant saunas within saunas. Though I have lived here for almost six years, I fear I will never adjust.
I have been praying for God to teach me the art of contentment, no matter my circumstances. I have seen the world, I know I am blessed, and yet there is always this dissatisfaction. I have my moments of contentment, sometimes these moments last for months. But it's never too long before I come back to being discontent with something or other. Here's the sad part. Usually it starts as a passionate yearning to seek after Christ. Then slowly as the days pass, I start replacing my yearning for God with a yearning for material things. I start seeking the world to fulfill my heart's desires. If only I could afford nice winter clothes, then maybe winter wouldn't be so bad. If only I could make my home look like one out of a Simple magazine, then maybe I wouldn't mind being stuck indoors. Maybe if I had a nice 4x4 car, I could go out more in the ice and snow. I somehow come to the conclusion that with out these things I shouldn't be content. Then I come to the crazy conclusion that I actually deserve these things. And why not? The world tells me I do. No one is dumb enough to believe they'll be forever content with just a few more things. It is, however, slightly easier to convince yourself you'll work harder at being content once you have what you need. And the definition of "need" can vary greatly.
When I think about the millions who are lucky to have as much as a tarp over their heads, shoes on their feet, or a meal for the day, I wonder how I can live in such disillusionment. In all my blessings, I have had the nerve to pity myself for something as trivial as the weather. This year I have resolved to change my attitude toward the weather. I cannot guarantee I will enjoy the cold, but perhaps if I focus on the creator of this season, I will see it in a new light. Remind me of this if you find me writing much too much about the woes of winter!