The snow boots have been moved. Having dwelt for many months within reach of the front door, they have been relegated to the fringe of the hallway cupboard. Fringe meaning that they aren’t quite in, but they aren’t quite out. As a result, they threaten to trip us up several times a day.
The boots are hovering, along with the big coats, wooly hats and gloves, because we are in the little known season of ‘fake Spring’. The snow has melted, neighbours have been spotted who have been hibernating since about November and we even spent an afternoon at the park yesterday without coats.
But today’s walk to school was accompanied by a bitterly cold wind, rain is currently pounding the windows and snow is forecast tomorrow.
Rumour has it (heard amidst the usual chit chat about the weather over school pick up) that there are at least three fake Springs before we get the real deal. With each warm moment, the flips flops and the Toms edge into pole position, but I think the snow boots will remain as a shadowy, cupboard cluttering presence for a few more weeks.
It feels like we all have a little winter fatigue, and these fragile fake moments that tumble back into Narnia-esque Winter are wearing. Bring on the real deal!
Fakes, fatigue and feeling fragile have been on my mind this week in other ways. Jen Oshman, in her new book, Cultural Counterfeits, speaks of the need ‘to live in harmony with reality’ and suggests that we spend much of our time running after empty promises given by fake ‘gods’ who fail to deliver.
As my snow boots dither on the fringe of my hallway, I’m waiting for real deal Spring to deliver the sunshine that will carry us out of Winter and into short-wearing, park-playing warmer times.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re dithering on the fringe of life, wondering which way to look in order to gain all that we need. Maybe it’s in the acceptance and approval of others, maybe nailing it as a parent, maybe achieving in the workplace or even ministry…any of these things, and so many more, that promise everything but just don’t deliver. They are as fake as the Spring that is currently being washed out by the rain outside.
I find that I’m more fragile and more weary when I’m ‘in the dither’ and trying to work out which way to look. My heart can be pulled towards these ‘fake gods’ and I begin to expect fundamental life-giving results from having people accept me, or approve of what I’m doing, or laud any achievements I make. I was reminded again this week that there’s only one real deal, and Habakkuk 2:20 says it all: ‘But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silent before him’.
Our living, active, relational God – all the more evident in the person of Jesus – is the God who determines reality and who delivers life to the full. Life now, and life on into eternity. Secure, anchored and living in harmony with reality as I look to him.