How Living in a Cold Climate Can Build Virtue

When you live in Michigan it’s very difficult to know exactly when Spring has started. We are always on our guard to not get too excited lest our enthusiasm be dashed by yet another frost…or even snow. This particular Spring has been long in coming.

Some say that living in Michigan, or any cold climate, builds character. I can see that could be true. Of course, to actually build that character, one has to take advantage of the opportunities.

In the dead of winter we must embrace endurance and sometimes even long-suffering. Feeling cold for months on end can be trying, to say the least. To drive on treacherous streets is sometimes terrifying, particularly when surrounded by Michigan drivers convinced that their driving is so skilled that there really is no need to slow down on icy roads. We must accept and embrace the fear. Instead of letting anger toward other drivers take a hold, we must take a step back and pray for their and our own safety.

When Spring starts to tease us (and believe me, it is always a tease in this state) we must learn patience. The first rather warmish day does not mean there can’t be any more cold ones without our throwing a fit. Even the tenth warm day does not mean winter cannot put forth one more last gasp. We have to love the little snowdrops and crocuses, delighting in their beauty and fragile hardiness in the midst of the inevitable late frost. We have to resist complaining. Unless, of course, it’s the light-hearted complaining to a neighbor or cashier, the grumbling that’s accompanied by a smile or a chuckle that includes a certain affection for the state known for its fickle weather.

When finally, hopefully, Spring has truly arrived (fingers crossed) we must embrace gratitude for the loveliness of it all. We must notice every new bud, each new flower, the refreshingly warm breeze, the sunshine….all of it. Having lived in the black and white of yet another very long winter, let’s rejoice in the colors, the new life, the amazing beauty of God’s creation coming back to life.

Spring in Michigan means the glory of God is all over everything. And we have another new opportunity to praise Him, the Author of all life.

God is good. All the time. (In every season.)

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