A Saturday is not a Saturday without a trip to Target. We just had a few things to grab, but that’s always an excuse to wander the aisles, examining expensive electronic toothbrushes or poufs or glossy vases stuffed with smooth stones. You know, the kind of glass object d’art that every family with two toddlers needs.
Our leisurely Target strolling led to the garden section which to my surprise was not only stocked but fairly bursting with patio furniture, gardening supplies and all matter of outdoor play equipment. I was beside myself. You see, I love to plant things, I love to plan gardens and I really, really love to be outside, snipping buds and watching rutabaga flourish.
But we live in Colorado. And February is not the cusp of Spring here, like it was back in Atlanta. Spring is so very far away.
In Atlanta, our old cottage with the view of downtown had a lovely row of forsythia on one side of the driveway. It’s a rather nondescript green plant, all woody stalks, but come February, it breaks into a glorious riot of yellow blossoms. It’s the only thing blooming anywhere. But you have to enjoy it quickly. A few days later, forsythia fades. Of course, the rest of the yard is starting to rev up, especially the showy azaleas. Forsythia takes a bow and moves on.
Back here in Colorado, we all wish for Spring. Snow spits and flies almost every day, it seems. Coats, scarves and all-wheel-drive are just a way of life.
It got me thinking: what is inside of me that God is preparing for bloom? While I wait for Spring and its freshness and new growth, what can I work on now to prepare?
I have been more intentional lately about praying. Small prayers, here and there. Just sometimes to get through the very next moment. Our energetic 4-year-old can be loud. I pray. I am too sensitive to a gently-worded suggestion from my husband. Instead of pouting, I pray. I worry about whether my daughters will sneak out of the house at night in twelve years–I pray.
Spring is coming. We have no signs here in nature that are obvious, like my forsythia back in Atlanta. In this season of Lent, I prepare my heart for the Cross. I trudge through the snow. I remember the warmth of Easter. And I get a glimpse of the true Spring:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9