This morning as I look out the kitchen window cooking bacon and eggs and tortillas, my mind goes back to 1994. Snow is falling here in Oklahoma City in April. That is rare and comforting. And it takes me back three decades and even four.
It was May and my family camped in the mountains of Hesperus, Colorado. That morning, I rose around 5am. One of the families had set up a cook tent and had fresh tortillas, beans, and pork chops. The smell stimulated. My wife and kids were solid asleep as I joined the others in some early morning laughs. I had not laughed in a while. Snow still slept in the shadows high in the mountains where we camped and snow still slept in the shadows of disappointments in my life. Rain took the weekend by surprise and we were constricted to the tents. It felt good to get outside.
Spring was on the way, but not quite here. That weekend I was leading a family camp for a congregation located in the four corners area in Farmington, New Mexico. Friends pastored there. These friends stood with us. We shared life as we trained together at the Christian Outreach School of Ministries in 1980-1982. We shared life again. We graduated together and here we were together again. Many seasons had come and gone. Spring was on the way, but winter grabbed.
From 1982 to 1990, ministry and family and job intertwined. There were many miracles. A church had grown out of small groups. A church had crashed and gone. Four children grew our family. Companies folded and disappointed in the days of the oil busts. In 1994, it was Winter, but Spring was on the way.
For a few years, I retreated from ministry outreach in the community. It was strange to respond to great success with great disappointment. But that is where I was. The mix of family and work and ministry just pushed me beyond my strength. Ground recovers in Winter. My soul recovered in Winter.
After great harvest comes time for fallow land. Our hearts need rest. Spring comes.
Cooking bacon and eggs and tortillas in my kitchen another Spring comes. This COVID comes on top of many crashes. Children are grown and have children of their own. My wife and I work with struggling families teaching life and relationship skills. The business career days are over. The community campaign days are back. We are fully engaged some 4 decades later in similar pursuits to when we started. My knees are weak. My heart is strong. Companies have come and gone. Many seasons of ministry have come and gone. We have had a great life and more is coming. Springs and Summers and Falls and Winters come and go. Spring is on the way. Winter still has a grasp from the last crashes of the prior years. Spring is on the way.
Spring is on the way. Over all the ups and downs, the triumphs and tragedies, I’ve learned. Spring is always on the way. Great harvests require the soul to lie fallow for a season. Winter is my friend. Spring is on the way. I’m only 64. There is snow on my roof and Spring is on the way. There is a lot of new life ahead of me.
Phil Larson serves as the SW Director of Benefits and Conferences for GrandKidsMatter.org and GrandParentBenefits.org. He and his wife, Dian, have four children of their own and many that call them mom and dad from the community. Three of those children are married giving them a mix of six grandchildren of multi-racial background by both birth and adoption. You can contact him at 405.494.0637 or email@example.com