The joy of Easter overcomes the anger of winter

By 
  • April 2, 2015

It’s been the winter of our discontent.

After a practically snow-free December and January, the Maritime provinces were relentlessly buffeted by snowfall after snowfall during February and March. 
Two and sometimes three storms in a week left Nova Scotians scratching their heads and cussing their fortunes.


The snow, accompanied by high winds, had frustrated shovellers looking for a place to put the white stuff to keep their lanes and driveways open. Snowplows sometimes could not push the snow aside, instead giving way to heavier machinery to break a track.


Schools were closed time and again and people began talking about scheduling classes for Saturdays. Even when schools were accessible, some had so much snow stacked on top of flat roofs, that leaks sent water dripping into classrooms and hallways.

Some schools had to remain closed because of the danger of collapsed roofs.


The roofs of other buildings did collapse, including a number of barns that left farm animals dead and farmers struggling to find temporary lodgings for their animals and struggling to rebuild. 


Travel by ground and air was interrupted, delayed or outright cancelled. Government offices were closed several times. Hospitals were overcrowded. Snow-jammed sidewalks were shut down and pedestrians had to take tentative steps along community streets.


Plans were put on hold and people grew weary of the unending snow, their well-rooted East Coast sense of humour buried at the bottom of a snow bank.

But another dynamic also came into play during the snow days of February and March.

The provincial Emergency Management Office sent out notices reminding Nova Scotians to check in on their neighbours, especially the elderly and those with disabilities, after snowstorms. The notices hardly seemed necessary amid a proliferation of stories of strangers snowblowing or plowing people’s driveways and other acts of unsolicited and anonymous kindnesses.


The mighty drifts taught some small lessons about always having to be in control. No one could control the snow and how it affected lives.

From the snow, a Lenten message.
It takes a heap of angst, worry and effort to try to control everything in your life. And angst turns to a fear of what will or can happen in the future because we are losing control.


Although very difficult to do, it’s best to let go and let God take charge. 
It’s best to take some time to talk to God, to read His words and pray to Him. Not everything will change, we won’t be in control again but at least we can gain confidence and faith that we are reaching out to God, who has promised to protect us.


“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”


We are unlikely to rid ourselves of all worry and care as easily as that verse from Philippians might suggest, but the task for Lent and all year round is to start letting go and to start letting God.


The mountains of snow have finally begun to recede, aided by rising temperatures, rains, wind and fog. Now, the worry is that all that snow will add to ice jams in rivers and lead to more flooding than usual in low-lying areas.


There’s also the fear that the unusual weather will have irreparably delayed the province’s maple syrup producers and that other local crops and farming operations might be affected by the soggy fields that are sure to linger long after the snow is gone.


Worry, worry and more worry about our personal lives, the state of the world and Mother Nature.


“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” we read in the Gospel of Matthew. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


Only God and the everlasting-life-yielding resurrection of His Son at Easter can prevent a harsh winter from slipping into a spring of discontent.

(Campbell is an editor at the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax, N.S.)

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