Change & Permanence: Another Reason to Be Thankful Spring Is Almost Here

paintThe sun is out, the sky is blue, and the space between my first and second toes hurts–a worthy pain– my feet unused to the sandals I’m wearing.

I’m in Peace Park, enjoying the day and shivering just a little from the leftover winter wind.
I love seeing the first signs of a new season, and in this case, spring, it’s like the world is waking up. Birds bathe in the stream and toddlers toss rocks into the water and happy labrador retrievers take their owners on walks.

And, as often happens, thoughts of C.S. Lewis come to my mind. A quote from The Screwtape Letters (if you haven’t read it, it’s a series of letters from a demon, Screwtape, to his nephew and apprentice, Wormwood. “The Enemy” in this case is God): “The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart—an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship. The humans live in time, and experience reality successively. To experience much of it, therefore, they must experience many different things; in other words, they must experience change. And since they need change, the Enemy (being a hedonist at heart) has made change pleasurable to them, just as He has made eating pleasurable. But since He does not wish them to make change, any more than eating, an end in itself, He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence. He has contrived to gratify both tastes together in the very world He has made, by that union of change and permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme.”

I adore that, the perspective that something so natural and obvious to us as winter turning to spring is in fact a magnificent symbol of God’s love and provision. So often we only count obvious blessings– family, friends, food– but with some examination we can find proof of God’s plan on a scale that’s so much bigger than what we ordinarily see. I find that comforting on the days I don’t feel blessed, when I’m overwhelmed and lonely, when I’m confused about where I’m going, when I’m focused on regrets: I don’t need health, wealth, and prosperity to believe I’m loved; I can instead look at something as simple as the laws of the natural world to know it’s true.

I’ll leave you with the perfect song for a beautiful day like this. Give it a listen if you’re feeling contemplative. 

xo, j

Have you read The Screwtape Letters? What sticks with you? 

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