Yesterday, the pear blossoms caught me off guard. I wasn’t ready for them. I’d seen the buds a few days early, but I wasn’t prepared for their wide open petals drinking in the sun. Not for the hum of the bees that danced among the flowers sounding like a choir warming up their voices for some great anthem. “Spring has arrived!” they seem poised to sing. Shouldn’t it still be winter? Isn’t it still winter? I know the fickleness of a Texas spring. We may, yet, have snow on Easter. But the signs have arrived. If winter makes any more appearances it will be as a last gasp. The seasons have changed.
Yesterday, the calendar caught me off guard. I wasn’t ready for it – Ash Wednesday. As certain as buds on the fruit trees, the arrival of this day marks a changing of seasons. While our church doesn’t officially mark the beginning of Lent with any special services, I have at least for the last decade of my life observed these forty days leading up to Easter as a special season of introspection, meditation, and commitment. As often as I feel unprepared for Spring with its cleanings and its preparations, I fell ill prepared for Lent. Who’s ever ready to lay bare their soul before the Spirit’s eye? Who’s ever ready to walk with Christ once more through his sufferings knowing it was for my sins that he died?
And yet, whether I’m ready or not, the seasons change. My yard and my house and most definitely my soul are in need of some care. So, I’ll take stock of the land, place it under the master’s scrutiny. There will be sweeping and pruning and tilling. It won’t all be fun or easy or pain free. But through it all I’ll keep trusting that just beyond the work will be the greatest surprise of all - new life!