I've gotten out of the habit of taking walks lately, and today I remembered why that was a mistake. Somehow I had thought that looking at a beautiful afternoon through the window, from the comfort of a warm kitchen, would equal putting on coat and boots and hat and mittens and striking out into the muddy fields. It doesn't.
It looked like a pretty ordinary March day from the kitchen, but when I got outdoors, I realized that there is no such thing as an ordinary spring day. When I went out the door, I was thinking of the tragedies that seem to make up so much of life--tragedies of people on the other side of the world, and tragedies of people in my own closest circles. It seemed as though hope was a farce. But as I began my voyage across the soggy field, I was strangely unable to feel oppressed by these thoughts. Despair and springtime just don't go together.
The wind was sharp and cold, but so clean--it left the whole earth feeling scrubbed and fresh. It was good to remember that there is something clean left in the world. The sun was bright and warm and cheery, trying to make up for the chill of winter. It was good to remember that soon the world will be warm again. The ground was slightly muddy and springy beneath my feet where the frost has given way. It was good to remember that frozen things can become soft again. The brown fields are beginning to hint of green--maybe it's just my imagination, but it was a nice reminder that the world will soon be full of color.
And it was sure good to see the birds again. Several different species must be migrating, because they were everywhere! Some marvelously fat robins were parading pompously around on the grass--how do they manage to be so plump and resplendent despite their long journey? And whole flocks of some other kind of bird were perching in the trees or swooping wildly across the fields, chattering busily. Maybe they have reached their destination, and were discussing territorial arrangements. Maybe this is just a rest stop for them and they were planning the next leg of their journey. Or maybe, like me, they were just telling God how grand it is to have a Father like Him!
It made me think of Psalm 65:9-10, "You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth."
God is visiting the earth in a special way just now. Don't miss it!