It was a very chilly 31 degrees here in Michigan when I got up this morning, with the hint of the first snow of the season in the air. This cool weather is rather early for us here in the Lower Peninsula but for my homeland in the Upper Peninsula, this is par for the course. I can remember often as a kid inches of snow covering well frozen jack-o-lanterns – Lake Superior can bring on a winter chill quite early some years!
For the next few weeks the weather will probably be a bit all over as the cool of autumn gives way to the crisp of winter. Seasonal changes can get pretty messy as we learn to let go of the past and deal with the present while preparing for the future. The winter coats are grudgingly pulled out of the closet and hung on the hooks with the boots beneath while the rain slickers and galoshes are stuffed away. The garage gets cleaned out from all of the honey-do projects for the cars, and the snow-blower and shovels replace the lawn mower and rakes at the front of the shed. And yes, there will be mud as the new snow falls on not quite frozen ground…and that mud will find its way into the house.
Finding a new normal is a process of letting go and holding on at the same time…but it just doesn’t work forever. Each and every season of our lives requires that we eventually release what we have become comfortable with and grasp the next rung on the ladder – and then pull ourselves up. Sometimes it is not simply a step on a ladder. Sometimes it seems more like a leap from one swinging trapeze to another over a grand canyon with no net beneath. Letting go can be tough but if you don’t, eventually you’ll just stop swinging and be left hanging on the bar and losing your grip.
When it comes right down to it, there really is no change without some bit of unknown. Every change we are presented with has an inherent element of faith required. We do not really know the outcome of each and every choice we make or transition that comes our way. Will winter finally set in before Thanksgiving or wait till Christmas this year? Will I make it through training in my new job in time to be a benefit to the company? Will my car start this morning? Even the smallest things can make us doubt our choices, but we take that next step…and then another…and more. Before you know it we are breezing through our new normal – until then next leap…
This is what faith is…believing in what will be even though the evidence may say otherwise. I will learn that new job and learn it well even though it seems overwhelming right now. I will make it through this class even though I’m having trouble understanding it right now. The pain of that surgery will go away…eventually. I will get my honey-do list done, (at least started), before the snow flies for real this year. Winter will set in even though it is muddy and mucky and sloppy right now. The Good Lord will be there to catch me if…and when…I fall or fail.