Seasons Out of (my) Control
It would feel weird to tell my 2019 self the following:
I completed all the things on my "ideas of things to do while trapped in the house during a government mandated quarantine" list.
Gathered the family on a Zoom call and sang - very off-synch - Happy Birthday to you, dear Mallory, Happy Birthday to you.
Went grocery shopping, trying to figure out new rules with arrows pointing this way and signs telling us where to go and stay back and go to this X and no! DEFINITELY NOT THAT X!
And another super fun! [sarcasm font] surprise:
It is April 17th and it is snowing.
But it is supposed to be SPRING, my 2020 self stomps.
"............um..... wow?....." my 2019 self answers when I finish my caffeinated spewing of All the Things (as I am wont to do when highly caffeinated and trapped.).
We measure out our lives by seasons- okay, so on March 5, you have an appointment at 10 a.m. When you are 18, you will graduate high school. At 22, college graduation. When you are 26, that will be a great time to get married. 25 months later, you will have a child. Then you will work. Retire. Hang around the house bugging your wife. Who will still be there by your side until you are old and gray.
Nicely packaged, tidy, controlled. If we know how things will be, then we can feel sure of how WE will be. If I plan this hard enough and detailed enough, then I am the one that makes the next season happen. I am the one that decides. Ooh - look at me in my preparedness! If/Then taking us all the way home to the finish line (as the winner, of course).
Um. Then it snows in spring.
It doesn't fit the season. Go away, bad. Where are you, good?
As one writer states it, the paradox is that one cannot genuinely face personal mortality and finitude without first facing God’s immortality and infinite power. Guess who's not in control?
Me. "I'm not surprised by ANYthing anymore..." I say, acting like I'm jaded, hardened, thick-skinned, and Totally in control of all of this crap! Here, look, I even brought snacks! That's how ready I am! You can't catch me off-guard!
Maybe I only take that stance because I am deeply afraid of being surprised by yet another disappointment, yet another friend who lets me down, yet another death, yet another pain felt by my child, yet another loss...[insert your fear here].
Ah, but peace: In my realization that I am not the one in charge, that it can, indeed, snow in spring, can I step back and begin to rely more on God's faithfulness and omniscience. I'm trapped by time and seasons and my feeble attempts to bring order to chaos by throwing out all things that do not "spark joy!" He promises to make all things beautiful in His time. He will take what seems out of order, and make it "appropriate" in the grand storyline of all time, people and things.
And I am positive He will not allow snow in spring.