Spring is in the air...
…and on the ground.
I am enjoying watching Spring unfold up here in the mountains.
I've welcomed some of my favorite creatures back – the playful chipmunks and squirrels, the friendly deer, the chirping birds…
"The Hub" was delighted to see his first snake of the season – a huge gopher snake – crossing the road. Remember, he is The Great Reptile Wrangler. And though he didn't catch this one, his tongs are ready, and his tongue is wagging at the prospect.
I prefer the cute creatures.
But, of course, there are the "other" guys.
This Spring we have been inundated with creepy, crawly things that I call *snizards*. Snizards are these girthy lizards that actually look like snakes with arms and legs. They are gross.
Unless you're a Kimodo Dragon – then you might think they were adorable babies.
As a rule, lizards don't bother me much. I'm much more unnerved by jumping things like frogs. (Chalk that up to a traumatic incident when I was a child – and had to walk across a dry creek bed while billions of little frogs jumped up all over my legs and feet).
These snizards are more than mere lizards.
They are HUGE. Even "The Hub" admits it. (Steroids in the off season?) And, they're pretty fearless. They don't run away like the little guys do. And they're kinda slimy too. But, they’re not salamanders – (which are amphibians – and frogs are amphibians – so you understand my abhorrence of slimy things).
I'd do some research on them, and try to figure out what they are – but that would require me looking at endless pictures of lizards on my laptop – and that might be traumatic.
Oh, did I mention?
These guys are also pretty cocky. I see them outside all the time, basking in the sun on top of a boulder, doing their little "push-ups." It's like my backyard has turned into a reptilian Muscle Beach.
This is not my idea of Spring.
I picture Easter bonnets, and flowers in bloom, and pretty things. Cute mammals and birds – fur and feathers – no scales.
But, here is the truth of the season.
EVERYBODY comes out of hiding.
The birds, and deer, the chipmunks and squirrels – and the snakes and snizards. The cute and cuddly – and the creepy.
It got me thinking.
We talk about the seasons of life. We talk about spiritual *seasons*, too. Seasons of winter when we are in a stark and lonely place in our souls. Or summer, when the warm blessings of God and His bright sun seems to shine on everything. Or maybe even autumn, when we are in a season of waiting, perhaps.
But, springtime…well, I always think of spiritual Spring as a time of new beginnings. Of the excitement of new growth, and new opportunities, new adventures, and new goals. A time to have sleeping dreams come alive.
I think of it as a happy time.
However, as I contemplate the snizards, I think of something else…
A season of spiritual rebirth might not be all flowers and sunshine.
It might not be all about fur and feathers.
It might involve some scales.
In fact, it might involve God tearing some scales off of my crusty and previously-hibernating self.
I am reminded of my favorite scene from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis. A rather unpleasant and boorish boy named Eustace finds himself in a bind. In his selfishness, he has turned into a dragon. But, finding himself in agonizing pain, he is desperate to shed his "dragonness."
He scratches and claws himself, frantically trying to shed his scales like a snake skin. He tries it three times, to no avail. He begins to fear that he will never be rid of the scales.
Finally, Aslan (the great lion who is a figure of Jesus) tells him:
"You will have to let me undress you."
Eustace tells the story:
"I was so afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back and let him do it. The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off."
This is what I'm thinking re-birth is like sometimes.
Yes, sometimes it happens like a seedling bursting through the dirt into bloom. Sometimes it's like the fulfilling work of nest-building.
Sometimes, it's joyful and playful.
Sometimes it's pretty.
But sometimes it's not.
Because sometimes I arrive at a Spring *season* in my life and I am not furry or feathery. Sometimes I am not cute and cuddly.
Sometimes I am downright crusty, scaly, and perhaps a bit creepy.
I'm not a beautiful budding flower – I am a snizard.
And that is when God gets to work.
You see, I have come to understand that ALL things that arrive in a Spring *season* in my faith journey are necessary. They are part of the plan.
The "oooh" and the "aaah" – AND the "ouch."
This Spring I am feeling a bit snizardly, if I'm honest. And I feel like I am cold and needing to bask in some SONlight. (Truth be told, I am also a bit "girthy" too – just sayin'…)
Lord, I need You.
Please help me re-awaken to the beauty of this season. Help me be re-born into something vibrant and alive. Bring joy to my soul again. Revive the spiritual sloth of my hibernating.
Do what You have to do…
…for I have scales.
"Hey, you talkin' to me?"
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
Do you have some *scales* that need to come off this Spring?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
(Photo by Walter Siegmund, copied from Wikipedia, under the GNU Free Documentation License)
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