Snow on the First Day of Spring?
It's the first day of spring! Yay!
Warmer weather? Some rain maybe? The grass getting green and leaves coming back on trees? Crocuses and hyacinths peeking through the thawing soil?
Wrong! It's snowing on the first day of spring!
Not exactly what we want the first day of spring to look like, is it? Things do not always turn out the way we expect or think they should. We don't have control over some things (like the weather for instance). But what we can control is our reaction to what happens to us that we have no control over.
An action almost always produces a reaction. Sometimes a reaction seems almost out of our control. For instance, when we put our hand on something very hot. It usually produces a pretty quick reaction on our part when our hand feels the pain. It is pretty much an automatic reaction to take our hand off of the hot object quickly, with maybe a gasp or scream as accompaniment.
However, most things that happen to us need not produce an immediate or automatic reaction. But sometimes we have been conditioned to react without thinking. It may be because we were brought up by people who reacted automatically and thought about it later, sometimes with some degree of shame or guilt. Reacting without thinking is not usually the best course when things don't turn out our way.
Sometimes we have learned or been taught by example to react quickly and without thought. Then we rationalize it by saying we can't help it, or it's just the way I am. We try not to think of how our reactions hurt others or embarass us. A pattern of reacting like this can cause problems in relationships, careers and many other areas of life. The consequences of too quickly reacting are varied; but not usually positive.
Using the analogy of snow on the first day of spring...what are some different reactions I could have?
- Grumbling: It's spring! What is that %$#@&*% snow doing out there! It's supposed to be warm! I don't know why it snowed today of all days. I'm so sick of winter!! This is supposed to be spring. (texting) It's snowing! Yuck!! Now I will have to go out and shovel the drive. Groan.
- Avoiding: It's snowing on the first day of spring. I'm closing all the blinds and turning up the heat. I don't have to go anywhere so I'm not shoveling. In fact I might go back to bed and just sleep until it stops.
- Accepting: Well it's snowing on the first day of spring. That's life. Spring will come sooner or later.
- Rejoicing: It's the first day of spring! I really wasn't expecting snow; but isn't it beautiful? I will go out later and shovel some. It will give me exercise. Maybe I'll have some fun...build a snowman or something. Or I can use this time to get some things done I have been wanting to get to inside. Thank you Lord for your beautiful snow.
Actions are important; but our choice of reactions may be even more important.
We can choose to take something bad that happens to us and make it into something good. We can choose to put some things in the past, and not dwell on them. We can choose to use our mistakes or misfortunes as stepping stones toward our goals. The power of choice is a great God given freedom!
Do you think before you react? Aren't you glad we can choose our reactions when we don't have control over what has happened.
What is more important? What happens to us; or how we react to what happens to us? What has more impact on our lives and on the lives of those around us?
I hope you had a beautiful first day of spring - snow, or no snow.
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