If you look in my closet over the fall and winter months, you will see a series of three-quarter sleeve tops and lightweight, long sleeve blouses. Some fall and winter-colored short sleeved articles of clothing even remain. My drawers are the same, with a combination of three-quarter sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts. Occasionally you will run across a sweater or sweatshirt, but they are not prominent. The lighter-weight clothing is.
My closet and drawers are stocked in this manner because such clothing fits with the typical south Arkansas winter. Occasionally we dip into the colder temperatures and need those sweaters and sweatshirts, but such days are typically rare. If a warm-natured person like myself were to wear a sweater on a typical southern winter day, she would get too hot very quickly.
The problem this year is that we are having anything but a typical south Arkansas winter. Our normal 50’s have been very rare this year, and highs in the 30’s have been much more common. I am one of those crazy people who actually enjoys having a “real” winter this year. But that does not mean I am equipped for it! As much as I love cold weather and the clothing that goes with it, before now it has never been prudent to purchase cold weather clothing that I would only wear once or twice a season.
I honestly have no idea what the future of Arkansas winters will bring. Perhaps this is a permanent change, or perhaps we will be right back to normal next year. But the nature of my wardrobe has made me stop to think about my spiritual condition as well.
How strongly do we cling to resources in our spiritual life, stating that those things have “always worked before”? Do we stop to recognize that seasons change? Do we pay attention to the gradual adjustments in our spiritual environment? The passages that challenged us yesterday might not be where God wants to challenge us today. The devotionals that were so perfect for that stage in life might be insufficient for this stage in life. Even the friendship that was “iron sharpening iron” five years ago might not sharpen us anymore. It is possible that those relationships need to change. Not disappear, but change. It might be that new resources need to fill our spiritual closets.
What has changed in your life in the past years? (If you cannot pinpoint anything, there might be a problem…but that’s another post.) How have you adjusted your resources to fit the change? How has your prayer interaction and ability to trust grown? How has your exploration of Scripture evolved? Do you still have lightweight clothing in your spiritual closet when you need sweaters?
May we be aware of the need to update our closets. And may we not be afraid to make the change.