May 21, 2015
Filed In: Faith
Growing up, my grandparent's house was our vacation destination of choice. My Dad was often stationed on the East Coast, so the trip to south Georgia wasn't a big deal. I can remember one Easter trip in particular. On Easter Sunday, we went to the sunrise Mass held outdoors in a field. The grass was wet with dew, the sun was just barely peaking over the horizon, and there was something incredibly refreshing about the entire experience. Although I was just a little boy, there was something profound and lasting about uniting the celebration of Easter Mass outside with a quintessential Spring morning.
The reality of sin in our lives and the power that we give it from time to time can be depressing. In fact, the simple reality that the odds of us failing again, even after resolving to amend our lives, can be quite sad. Yet, even when faced with the giant obstacle of overcoming sin, we still remain optimistic. In fact, at times we may even be called idealistic. We have such a bright outlook because our faith is like that Easter Sunday spring morning in south Georgia. Our faith is full of hope, promise, and renewal.
While spring time is a fairly predictable occurrence in our calendar year, spiritual springs in our faith life aren't. The events of our days, weeks, months, and years often have a profound impact on how we feel our relationship with God is going. These events either push us closer to God or cause us to feel that God is further away. Though incredibly difficult in practice, modeling our faith after that of the perennially faithful Biblical Job can be helpful. He endured so many trials, tribulations, and loss, yet he always praised and thanked God. In fact, all of the great characters of the Bible, the mystics and doctors of the Church had something in common: they were so attuned to God that they were able to accept and accomplish great missions. They labored endlessly and with singleness of purpose to improve their relationship with God. Then, when God came and asked great things of them, they were ready. The times that make us feel incredibly far from God are the times that we need to cultivate our spirit. In the times when things are going really well and we feel incredibly close to God, we need to fortify ourselves against temptation that seeks to steal that peace away from us.
Spiritual springs can be an amazing time for personal and spiritual growth. Like the hope and newness of spring, we're intoxicated with the spiritual things in our life. This intoxication is good, like an infatuated teenager all of our thoughts and actions are directed at pleasing God and growing in greater favor. This isn't naive, this is the way things ought to be! When you're in a spiritual spring, be an excellent observer of your own life. Notice how possible it is to have a great prayer life, how to direct your thoughts to being better attuned to God, and how you're able to resist temptations that would've tripped you up before. Then, take that personal growth and apply it to other parts of your life.
It's important that we not forget that all of these things should be taken in moderation. Attempting to do too much all at once will lead to fatigue and end your spring prematurely. Focus on doing one thing, following Christ, and let everything else fall into place behind that objective. Spring is a wonderful time and spiritual springs can be incredibly refreshing, especially after prolonged periods of darkness. When you find yourself in a spring, fortify yourself for winter and love God and His people endlessly.