We’re hitting a cold spell in Florida that is very typical for this time of year. I tease my sister, who lives in Chicago, that I’m positively freezing here–at 50 degrees. And it’s still sunny. She commented to me the other day that it was 20 below with the windchill. And grey. Dismal. There really isn’t a good comeback to that. So I grinned long distance and told her better her than me. She’s acclimated. I don’t do cold anymore.
Rather, I don’t want to do cold anymore. I like my comfort–warm and sunny–thank you very much.
This is my new normal. There was a time when I loved the cold and snow and all the outdoor sports that brought a flush to my cheeks and an uncontrollable runny nose. I didn’t mind the time it took to bundle up, layer upon layer, to protect me from the cold. And I could always count on moving enough outside to make me warm enough. Enough was always sufficient.
Not any more.
I find I’m not as tolerant of things that I have not made the choice to be part and parcel of my life. I like what I like. And those things that are not of my choosing–or of my preference–I find that I approach with less grace, less leniency of attitude. The warm sun is a great example. Now. But to show the fickleness of my focus, when summer comes and it’s horrifically hot and humid, I’ll complain about that and want the cool. Even the cold.
Life has not been made to my specifications. There is much about this world that is hard, harsh and challenging. I have a friend who begins many comments with: “in my perfect world…”, and it frequently causes both her and I to laugh. This isn’t that perfect world. It won’t ever be. There is no amount of inventiveness, change, adaptation, cooperation or technology that will make this world any better. It might make life convenient, but not better. And that can be frustrating.
Because we were created for the Garden.
When God created Adam and Eve, He was the very first One they saw when they opened their eyes. He delighted in them and enjoyed them, and they enjoyed Him. There was no sense of fear or shame or regret or guilt. There was only relationship, love and complete and perfect contentment. Everything about life in the Garden was perfect.
But it didn’t last. When sin entered the world, God graciously removed Adam and Eve from the Garden so they wouldn’t live forever in a state of separation from Him. That was love and commitment in action. That was kindness we can’t begin to understand. God took us from what appeared desirable to protect us from being forever apart from His love.
But we still long for the Garden. Because we were made to live in the Garden, in loving relationship with the One who created the Garden. And created us.
I won’t find my contentment and complete satisfaction in this world. Stuff and clutter won’t fill the void that only Jesus can fill.
So I will wait and hope. And I will remind myself that true, lasting contentment won’t happen this side of heaven.
I will wait for the Son.