And yet another false-start to winter here in mid-Michigan! I woke again to rain this morning and bare, brown, wet yards and trees. The snows that the mini storm from last weekend deposited are gone again, replaced by a dreariness and a longing for winter to settle in. I know some of my friends to the North and West would probably appreciate a bit of a reprieve from the several inches of snow they have already seen, but I don’t know it they would much like this back-and-forth weather either…it has been a very wet fall! There is almost nothing more depressing than a half-melted snowman, buckled over at his waist and weeping from every pore as his black silk hat lies on the ground next to his carrot nose two eyes made out of coal staring up at his once perfect face.
The changing of the seasons this year is not unlike some life changes. We have all gone through false-starts and spurts of excitement only to stumble on the starting line of something new. We second guess our choices and our motives then hesitate and take a step back. We do not always have the perseverance to press on in the midst of doubts, fears, and naysayers. Like the melting snowman, we fall over and loose our vision and convince ourselves that things will never be different; we will never get to where we need to go, become who we need to be, or accomplish what we set out to do. We defeat ourselves before we even begin.
I have learned over the years that set-backs and struggles do not necessarily mean you are on the wrong path. In fact, they often mean the opposite. Fears and questions do not necessarily mean you should run away. They could just be a warning to be careful. These emotions serve to make us more aware of our surroundings so we can be more prepared and more successful. Despair and doubt do not necessarily mean you’ve failed. Often they indicate that your breakthrough is near…and what you really need to do is get up just one more time, take just one more step, and say just one more prayer for strength!
Eventually winter will set in for good this year and I’ll be out nearly every day moving snow and salting the sidewalk. Sooner or later there will be another snowman perfectly perched in the backyard who will make it through till spring…as all snowmen should. Someday our ‘try…again?’ will become ‘DONE!’ and another challenge will present itself. Hopefully our experience now will help us to keep going then…