You can sense it. Spring is near. Technically, spring’s entrance is 20 March 2021, just over a week from now. I get excited each year. I love to fish, kayak, turkey hunt, swim, hike, and just be outdoors in spring. Spring is musical and magical. One of the most moving songs I listen to is by the Indigo Girls. Part of their ditty’s lyrics to “Southland in the Springtime” reads this way:
And there’s something ‘bout the Southland in the springtime
Where the waters flow with confidence and reason
Though I miss her when I’m gone it won’t ever be too long
‘Til I’m home again to spend my favorite season
When God made me born a Yankee He was teasin’
There’s no place like home and none more pleasin’
Than the Southland in the springtime
In Georgia nights are softer than a whisper
Beneath a quilt somebody’s mother made by hand
With the farmland like a tapestry passed down through generations
And the peach trees stitched across the land
There’ll be cider up near Helen off the roadside
And boiled peanuts in a bag to warm your fingers
And the smoke from the chimney meets its maker in the sky
With a song that winter wrote whose melody lingers.
Sure, it is a sentimental song, but it is nonetheless true and moving.
Scripture: In perhaps my favorite book of the Bible (Ecclesiastes), Solomon penned the world’s most famous poem on the subject of time. The metaphor Solomon uses is seasons:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to see, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time for hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace (Eccl 3:1-8).
Time matters, you see, because it is the gift of God. We have a certain amount allotted to us. How are we using it?
Encouragement: When spring bursts into its colorful glory each year here in our state and abroad, it trumpets its Maker. It attests to life coming from the ground. Adam was fashioned from the ground: “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Gen 2:7). Spring matters because it is the gift of God.
When I walked out of the office the other day, the sky was cerulean blue. The dogwoods were beginning to bud. I looked at the flags flying high on their staffs in front of the chapel. The GA flag and the national flag were completely unfurled and waving in the sun. I could hear the fabric whip and make popping sounds on the breeze. Someone had laid flowering wreaths down at our Memorial Wall for our fellow Guardsmen. And I knew it viscerally–in my bones: spring matters because it reminds us of time, of how fleeting our days are, and of how filled they are with beauty that deserves to be appreciated and celebrated. Spring matters because it reminds those with eyes to see and ears to hear that it is not happenstance, accidental, unplanned, or random. It is right on time, just as Solomon in the Scriptures penned. Happy spring!