Crunch. Crunch. Every step I took brought a reminder that frigid temperatures were a daily occurrence this extremely cold winter. Moments before I had layered long underwear, a bulky sweater, smart socks, a parka that zippered all the way from my knees to up around my neck, mittens, and walking boots. The sub-zero weather in our new neck of the woods necessitated such apparel.
Many of our friends head south to escape the cold wintry days, and over and over I hear, “I can’t stand the cold. Give me summer.”
My mind raced back to another memorable winter early in our marriage. Bob had been transferred from Toronto to North Bay and his start date happened to be in January. We moved into a tiny apartment on Trout Lake Road while temperatures plummeted to minus forty. Water provided our source of heating, a serious problem when the pipes froze. We were so cold and all I could think about was how much I wanted to go back to our warm spot in Toronto.
All was not hopeless, though, for in the corner of our living room stood a wood-burning fireplace. “Let’s build a roaring fire and warm up this place,” Bob suggested. The crackling wood brought hope that we would soon thaw. The hope was short lived, for all too soon our small home was filled with smoke. In moments we were gasping for breath, the only fresh air being outside, in the frigid north. Reluctantly, Bob yanked open the door to the outside.
Fortunately, our electric cook stove provided heat to melt the ice Bob chopped from the frozen creek that ran at the back of our rented property. For several days that water became our only source for cooking, drinking, and flushing the toilet; my handyman husband never did figure out why the fireplace chimney would not draw the smoke up and out.
I continued my walk, bringing my thoughts back to the present. Hadn’t it been just a few days ago that my early morning walk simply required running shoes, jogging pants, and a T-shirt?
Not long after that very cold, brisk walk, the rain fell and the snowy landscape turned brown.
Myles Munroe in his book, The Principles and Benefits of Change, writes,
Those who prepare for change are never really surprised by it because they understand that change is integral to life.”
I pondered the changes of the seasons and some of the changes I’d encountered in my life: family relationships, our many moves, my interests, my body changes — ugh!
It has been said that if you don’t like it, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Some of my greatest disappointments have come from trying to keep things the way they are, familiar and comfortable.
Matthew’s gospel records the parable of the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand. The rain fell on both houses, but the outcome was vastly different. As the years roll by and I encounter more shifting sands, I want to build my life on the Rock, the foundation that never changes.