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An invitation to change

By Barbara Miller
Rainy River Ministerial

As I sit here writing this, I look out and see a dull, dreary, end of winter, grey day.
Showing underneath the melting snow the threat of mud looms large. Cold, wet, sloppy mud. Mud that will soon find its way, tracked by sneakers and boots, into the house, into the car; trapped on the bottom of jeans and pets’ paws.
Yes, soon the battle will begin “the daily drudgery of getting that mud back outside where it belongs.” Mud, cold, wet mud that is nothing but a nuisance. Ah, but I do know that the gardeners among you are wagging your fingers at me for maligning the rich moist soil that will soon be nurturing the burgeoning plant-life. Patience, you tell me, Barb, patience. Soon the sun will shine warm and soft and the new growth will bloom and you won’t feel like maligning that rich, creative, life-giving mud. Soon. I know that you are right. When the new life blossoms, then the nurturing nature of mud will redeem it. (I still won’t like cleaning it up out of the porch, but I will be more forgiving of it.) It makes me wonder, though, in what ways do we discount or diminish the mucky areas of our lives, neglecting to see the value that can be discovered when we look at things in new ways. As hard as it is, there is much truth in the statement that if we didn’t know sorrow, we wouldn’t know joy.
We need the silent, waiting, quiescent times in our lives to rejuvenate and to regenerate our souls and our spirits, much the same way that nature does. This time of year, when we are awaiting Easter we are invited to journey to Jerusalem with Jesus and on the way he challenges us to look at our lives and see them in a new way.
So rather than feel defeated by the muck in our lives, I invite you to see the opportunity for regrowth and renewal. Rather than feel the sting of chastisement, see the invitation to change, see the open arms, wounded hands of Jesus inviting us to accept once again the immeasurable gift of God’s grace.