After digging out of the blizzard of the century, the soft breezes of spring come as a welcome reprieve. Robins' songs greet us with each morning sunrise. Geese honk their way across brighter skies. Peepers sing their joyous refrain as gilded shadows give way to twilight. Brave perennials of all kinds push last year's dead debris out of the way as promising buds burst into bloom. And the grass . . . it just keeps looking greener.
This is the first year for me to do the spring clean-up in the yard by myself. To be honest, I felt overwhelmed when I first took a look around. So, on every nice day, I decided to bundle up (when it's cool), find my garden gloves, and rake for an hour. What a job! For days, I've been raking up matted dead leaves and sticks that have covered up my flower beds. I've picked piles of stones out of the lawn, thrown from the snow plows. I've trimmed bushes and uncovered delicate blossoms that make me smile. And, you know, I'm starting to see a difference, a transformation. I have more to do, but little by little, I'm clearing the way for . . . all things summer.
I bet you've been doing the same thing! There's something about the smell of earth and the promise of warmer days that bring life to our routines. We open our windows to savor the fresh air. We're drawn to the outdoors like a magnet.
I like to think of spring as a reflection of new life . . . of laying aside the cold grip of the old and embracing the warmth of the new. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on a theme scrawled on parchment to the ancient believers in Colosse:
Since you have been risen with Christ . . . Put off "anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk . . . seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self . . .
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and . . . forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you . . . And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony . . ."
So as we go about our springtime chores, let's also remember to ask God to clean up the dead sticks and leaves in our hearts. He "rakes" out the old and plants the new . . . fruits of righteousness . . . transforming us from the inside out.