Marriage is Like Spring

Mark Buchanan's "Spiritual Rhythm"

Every day I read a little bit of Mark Buchanan’s book “Spiritual Rhythm.” A little bit is all I can handle every day. Usually, I end up weeping as his brilliant prose pierce through my emotional barriers causing the tears to well up so profusely that I am unable to read through the blur. This morning was no different, although I thought it might be because he was going to discuss the season of spring as it relates to the rhythmic patterns of  our lives and he had it framed as a time of renewal. Spring is the time when plowing is done, says Buchanan. “Plowing is sweaty and dirty. Breaking ground is hard work.”

“Well, that’s ok,” I thought, “Anything worth doing usually presents with a certain amount of labor.”

I felt the other shoe drop when he said that the hard work of spring has no immediate reward and, for all one really knows, perhaps no reward at all. It is done when the promise of reward is distant and tentative. Renewal entails setting a new course. If I am in spring and want to use this season to its full potential, I  will be treading an unknown path, picking up unfamiliar tools and committing  to new habits without any immediate reward. I chose the challenge of renewal  on January 1 this year when I resolved to commit the whole book of Colossians to memory this year and recite it from memory in my church one Sunday in January 2012. I am not in the habit of memorizing a Scripture every week, but I believe I am being called to do this and so I must. Over the past 5 weeks I have had to reorganize my time, find tools on the internet to help with memorization, get accountability partners that will enable me to practice on them, and suffer the embarrassment of faltering when these 59-year-old brain cells just will not yield their bounty in a timely manner. This is my act of renewal: to hide away Scripture so that my Savior’s Word is as familiar to me as breathing.

Ann wrote about marriage today in her blog and asked those of us who follow her on Walk with Him Wednesdays to write about our reflections on marriage. I married when I was 18 and my husband was 19. We married each other believing it would be great. We were in spring. Well, it is great, but we spent decades breaking up a lot of fallow ground to make it great. Only recently (40 years after those wedding vows were made) have the rewards started to come in at a steady pace. In the beginning there was just a lot of hard work with promise of rewards. With a 3-year-old on my back and a newborn in a sling to my side so they’d be safe while I hung diapers on a clothes line that was tethered between two poles in a yard where snakes could hide in the grass. I did not know then that I was protecting the ones who are now protecting me and millions of other Americans. One son is a communications expert and car safety developer. His baby brother, is a Lockheed-Martin systems engineer, responsible for detecting errors in our nation’s missile defense system before that system has to be used in real time. Both love Jesus and their wives with all their hearts and are raising their children to love Him and their mothers.

Hanging laundry with baby in sling on hip

My reward is great joy and I can say with John:  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”       III John 1:4

Enjoying the fruits in the fall of my life,

Dawn

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