CHOCK-LITS by Kim Clayton

Weather, like life, is unpredictable.  Like Forrest Gump’s mama always said, “Life is like a box of chock-lits:  you never know what ‘cher gonna get.”  And today it seemed as though everyone had bit into their favorite.  We’ll take today, because tomorrow may be a nasty fruit-nougat-center of a day.

But today, ah today was one of those glorious days that remind us that we actually love living in Ohio; a place where seasons change before our eyes, where weather is as moody as a drama queen.  Amazing how sunshine and a hint of warmth brings out the happy in us all.  As I drove home from work, people like me were grinning like idiots, delirious with the effects of temperatures above 40 degrees.  Able to shed our coats for a few hours, baring pale skin to the sun, cracking open the car window for fresh air, we were cranking up the radio and celebrating a brief release from the grip of winter.   At my front door, I noticed tiny green starts of daffodils and decided to let dinner make itself; I was going on a walk!  I passed a guy hitting golf balls, listened to birds chirping in the trees, and my nose caught the heavenly scent of outdoor grilling.  Ridiculously wonderful things that remind me that spring is on its way.  A foretaste of the feast to come, so to speak.

Strangely, a few short months from now, temperatures in the low 50s will seem downright cold.  I’ve always found it peculiar how our perspective shifts with the seasons.  And how, in the midst of hot, humid summer days, we can’t muster the memory of feeling the arctic cold of January (February, March…)  A shame we can’t bottle it.  Oh wait, I guess that’s air conditioning, huh?

Do you, like me, sometimes roll your eyes in response to forecasts in the single digits?  Find yourself wishing winter away?  Sick of sweaters and blankets and dry, itchy skin?  Sighing more in disbelief than pleasure at the snowfall?  Are you, like me, a wandering Israelite longing for more than manna? 

A complainer, ungrateful, a fair-weather friend.  That’s what I see in myself on long, gray days.  And then, as soon as the sun shines my smile appears.  Shouldn’t I be thankful for each day?  I know I should, and we’re reminded in Psalm 118:24:

 “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Rejoice, even when the snow hits one more time.  Rejoice that there are those who have continually worked to keep our roads cleared, our driveways clean.  Rejoice because our Savior, Jesus, does not only love us when we have a sunny disposition.  We’re called to rejoice in each day, good or bad, in the grace we’ve been given through Jesus.  He makes joy possible.  He warms our cold hearts with blessings, and we find in the center of even the most distasteful of chocolates, sweetness.