I really love January this year. It reminds me of the first couples years that I moved to this region. There were wonderful rainstorms, sometimes for days. Today again it is another rainy day, what a gift. Growing up we would see so much snow where I am from. The wind would whip through the drifts with bone chilling temperatures yet we would still play outside sledding, making igloo snow forts that would freeze and we would go ice skating. Just walking down the street full of crunchy moon boot - snow angel weather was its own form of fun. It was cleansing. It is good to see the clean fresh scenery of winter. It is good to take a break from nonstop hyperactive seasons to reevaluate or to simply be creative.
Recently I listened to a discussion from a Christian perspective on the different seasons and how it effects us globally. One of the takeaways was that this year, 2023, will be a time of rest according to a very complex timeline. It was really interesting. Immediately when I heard the word rest I thought of, spiritual cleansing but that is not the second thought that came to mind. While you are sleeping is a productive time. On the micro level our bodies heal during rest. Our mind rejuvinates. There are numerous studies on the effects of sleep. On the macro level would it not also be a time of getting prepared for what is to come next. Being in tune with God's plan means also understanding the context of words.
Nowhere in any religion have I heard to be lazy. A year of rest does not mean to sit back and wish by the beach. A season of rest means use your time wisely because there will be things to come that if you did not prepare yourself you might not be ready, in the sense of a warning. What does preparedness mean though? When resting in the winter, for me, it is a time of sitting still, organizing my thoughts, cleaning out old stuff, maybe eating a little more, visualizing how I would like the year to go with my goals and responsibilities. Too, taking time to enjoy the beautiful scenes of the holidays; lights, decorations and natural settings. God's grace is reflected in beautiful surroundings, fruits of the seasons.
What is resting according to the macro level then? My answer comes from the need to understand what is coming the next year. How do I know what is coming in the next year? That is the preparation part; read; learn from others; look at trends. Understand what action you need to do next. The God of my understanding wants us to do the right thing in our lives. He gives us signs and signals to move forward with intellegence. If we sit back complaining about our backache never excercizing the muscles or worse taking drugs, alcohol and other worldy vices to numb the pain I do not think he will be very pleased with you for wasting the gift of time given. Gluttony is not a law in God's book. It does not matter how fancy your car is, how much plastic surgery you have. If you spray purfume at a pile of rotting flesh it will not cover the stench.
Rest is a time of checks and balances. It is a time to repair. It is a time to correct the wrongs and start to do what is right. It is God's warning time granted because we do not know what is coming down the linear timeline. Like a rabbit rushes toward a garden only to be trapped inside, however cute and lovely they are they were not ready. One year is a long time to get yourself in order and to learn what is coming in God's timeline. The signs and signals are all there. God's enemies are not resting. There is no rest for the wicked who relish in their destructive ways. They are waiting for you to fall in their misery with them nashing their teeth an the pestulence they have created for their own lives, in their living spaces. They clutter up the streets with garbage, animal waste, noise and crime. With filth brimming forth from their mouths they hope and wait for you to fail with them. Are you prepared?