In my previous post I challenged others to let go of the familiarity they held with cherished possessions. To put them on hold for a season. Though this wisdom certainly applies to places and things it runs contrary to maintaining relationships with the people we cherish.
Take my wife for example. If I disassociate myself from her, this would not have a desirable outcome. The same would hold true of my relationship with my children, devoted friends, and God.
When I let go of my familiarity with possessions, it frees me to focus on relationships. It serves to elevate relationships over possessions. That brings me back to the season of Lent, and why so many people choose to do without favorite objects, and focus on their relationship with God and the suffering Jesus endured for all our sakes.
Don’t let familiarity with a relationship you hold dear breed contempt. Instead disassociate yourself from anything that stands in the way.
There is a proverb which says, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Siri defines this “extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.”
The month of March is a lot like that in my opinion. By March, I’ve had enough of the cold and snow, and have no affection for winter. Snowflakes are no longer pretty or romantic. My familiarity with March is like a family member who has overstayed their welcome. It’s past time for winter to make its exit.
March doesn’t look anything like the hope-filled lesson I was taught as a child, you know, “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Whoever made up the calendar did a cruel thing when they assigned March 31 days. It certainly feels like the longest month of the year.
March is a month of waiting. What are we supposed to do while we wait? For one thing, there’s Lent, a forty-day season of renewal and remembrance on the Christian calendar, commemorating Jesus’ wilderness experience.
I’ve also found it helpful to use March as a time to look back at what I accomplished last year, and ahead to what I hope to accomplish this year. Take gardening for example. Year’s ago, when I had more land, I used to pour over the seed catalog before spring arrived, trying to figure out what vegetables to plant based on last year’s gardening experience.
More recently, my wife and I have been renovating a rundown cottage about an hour drive from where we live. We close it up each year in early November and reopen it mid April. These pictures reflect our effort in 2022. It’s an amazing experience to walk back into the cottage after a winter hiatus. I think this has something to do with shedding our familiarity with it.
If you never got around to making a New Year’s resolution, there’s plenty of time to come up with something in March. You can ask yourself, is there anything in my life I could shed my familiarity with? You might be surprised how doing so will make you appreciate it more.
When I am tempted to yield to doubt during troubled times, I have to remind myself that God is enough. The moment I believe God is not enough, I need to ask myself, what is my “plan B.” God’s got me covered!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
I’ve been mulling over the word providence this week. Perhaps it’s because the word has a prominent place in one of the chapters I am writing. The word makes me think of providing evidence. My iPhone defines providence as “the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.” When I put these two ideas together, it raises an interesting question. Is there evidence of God working in my life?
Perhaps you have asked yourself the same question. It has been helpful for me to take a look back over the course of my life to see when and where God may have had a hand in certain situations. This could be evidence of some good coming out of a bad situation.
Did a past disappointment spare me from an even worse situation? Were there any blessings in my past that I brushed aside or blindly took credit for? Whatever the evidence, consider that God was involved. Let it serve as a reminder that God is continually at work in our lives and knows what our future holds.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31