Everyday Adventures: A Winter Escape

Image credit:  Visit / shutter stock.com

I feel sorry for my wife because she usually has crummy birthday weather. As a midwest February baby, she’s lucky if it breaks sixty degrees. It’s often freezing, rainy or worse. One year she even got to celebrate with eight inches of snow on the ground.

By the time my April birthday rolls around, however, the birds are singing, the sun is shining and temperatures are comfortably in the seventies or higher. Sure I’ve had a few cold snaps and rain, but most of my birthdays have been absolutely beautiful. Last year it hit eight-five that day. No joke.

About ten years ago, I was feeling guilty for hogging all of this spectacular birthday weather for myself, so I decided to take my wife somewhere warm. Out of the blue we received an offer in the mail for half off a February stay at a Disney resort. What a deal, I thought. This would be the perfect chance to show her what a tropical birthday like mine felt like.

The day we left home it was forty-five degrees. When we touched down in Orlando, it was a balmy eighty-three.

Now this was going to be living the dream. While all of those suckers back home were bundling up with hats and scarves, we were going to be soaking up the sun. It was awesome. For about five hours.

Now this was going to be living the dream. While all of those suckers back home were bundling up with hats and scarves, we were going to be soaking up the sun. It was awesome. For about five hours.

Unfortunately, the night we arrived, a freak cold-front barrelled across Florida. Temperatures plummeted to the low fifties with blustery, biting winds. Every time we stepped outside it felt miserable. We hadn’t packed anything warm so we had to buy Mickey gloves and hats. The young lady working in the gift shop said, “This is so weird. It’s been in the eighties for weeks!”

Maybe it was my imagination, but I kept thinking the other tourists were giving us dirty looks for bringing the bad weather with us. We had done our best to escape Old Man Winter, but it looked like he had come along for the ride.

Of course, the morning we flew home, the temperatures rebounded, and Florida was back to its sunny self. All the local residents cheered when our plane left the tarmac.

I guess, though, we’re not the first people to try to run away from our circumstances just to find ourselves back in the same boat. The fantasy of escape is a powerful lure for the human heart.

If we’re unhappy at work or unhappy at home, it’s easy to convince ourselves that a new job or a new family would fix the problem. If only my spouse were different or my friends were different or my boss was different, then I’d be happy.

The only problem is sometimes we change jobs or friends or spouses but we find ourselves just as frustrated as before. No matter how far we run, the one person we can’t run away from is ourselves. Like my ill-fated Florida trip, sometimes we bring the bad weather with us.

So maybe when it comes to fixing all the things we think are wrong with our lives, the best place to start is with us. But that’s where we need help. The great news is there is God who made us and loves and is more than happy to jump in and help us navigate the foul weather of our soul.

In the book of Psalms a king named David once prayed, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV).

That’s an uncomfortable prayer, a dangerous prayer, but a prayer that can be the beginning of God transforming our lives from the inside out. Like a warm front blowing into our hearts, it can be the beginning of a brand new day. 

Image Credit:  vixit / shutterstock.com

Jason Byerly is a writer, pastor, husband and dad who loves the quirky surprises God sends his way every day. You can read more from Jason in his books Tales from the Leaf Pile and Holiday Road. You can catch up with Jason on his blog at www.jasonbyerly.com.

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