The tale of the broken spring

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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For some, spring break brings to mind crowded beaches or ski slopes, sleeping in for a week, or thinking unprintable thoughts about that teacher that assigned a term paper due on the following Monday.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea of spring break, but I’m pretty sure it was a person who knew that students needed a break from teachers and teachers needed a break from students.

Since it has been over a quarter century since I was a full-time student, my spring break memories are more connected to my family. spring break, for me, brings to mind camping trips, Cowboys and Indians in the woods, hiking trails, marshmallows and hotdogs on the end of a straightened-out wire coat hanger roasting over a campfire, green pancakes on St. Patrick’s Day.

In other words, spring break means making memories with my kids.

Of course, as they got older, other activities interrupted and we didn’t always have everyone together for the entire week. But for the past 24 spring breaks, we always had at least one of them home for a day or two.

Until this year.

On Friday of last week it hit me. This was our first spring break since 1988 with just Mrs. Sweetie and me. The spring string has been broken. I am tempted to ask, “Who broke my spring?”

Except it didn’t feel broken. Mrs. Sweetie was still off for the week. I took a couple of vacation days to spend some extra time with her and do some work around the house. We worked on a project together, enjoyed each other’s company, slept in a few days and even got to talk on the phone to those kids who couldn’t make it home for green pancakes this year.

Life is full of firsts and lasts. Sometimes they show up as first lasts and last firsts, but the circle and cycle of life rolls on. Just when we think we have it figured out and we’ve found our rhythm, a seismic shift occurs, and life is out of kilter again. So what do we do with that?

Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Our lives matter so much to God that there is always a reason to rejoice. I can rejoice in what my kids were doing this week even though they weren’t doing it with me.

I can rejoice in the wife the Lord gave me.

I can rejoice that God loves me and sent His Son to die for me.

I can rejoice that I know a God who specializes in redeeming what life breaks.

How about you?

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