Winter Is Coming

The Summer ends and the final preparations must be completed.

The Autumn comes and with it the leaves. So many leaves, and they must be gathered quickly.

Winter. Is there enough wood for the fire? Are their leaves left that will make walking treacherous?

Spring. A new hope of a brighter future. Yet, the work is never done.

A couple of years ago, my family and I moved from the city to the country. Before the move, I never really considered the seasons. Of course, I saw the beauty in it all, but it never had that great of an influence on me. When it was warm, I wore less clothes and sweated more. When it was cold, I dressed accordingly.

These days, I spend much of my time considering the seasons. When the Winter leaves and the Spring comes, the harshness goes away. The darkness recedes and is replaced by a welcoming sun. The fields need to be planted, but this labor isn’t too bad because the promise of pleasant days is on the horizon. Everything done in the Spring is to prepare for the Summer, then the Autumn, and finally back to Winter. It is a never-ending cycle.

The seasons of the year make me cognizant of the seasons of my life. I go through stretches full of hope, just like the Spring. I enjoy the long days and smooth flow of the Summer. And in the back of my mind, I know the seasons of my life will continue to change. It is only a matter of time before the Winter comes.

All the seasons are important, but I find the Summer to be the most dangerous. If I fall into the trappings of ease and comfort, if I become lackadaisical in my preparations, then the Autumn will come, and I will not be prepared. I will do in the Autumn what I should have done in the Summer. Before I know it, the Winter will be upon me, and I will be behind. The Winter is where the real struggle will begin. Cold, dark, lonely. Will we survive another harsh season?

The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

It is in the winter where we are tested. It is a time when we discover who we really are, who we can become. We must do more than survive in the dark times, we must learn to thrive. Therefore, if we want peace in the Winter, we must prepare for war in the Summer.*

War in the Summer of our lives means to prepare and test ourselves for the Winter that will inevitably come to each of us. For it is in that Winter that we will ultimately be measured. Are you ready?

*We make war that we may live in peace. -Aristotle