Oct 11, 2013

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MEDITATION: The winter of our discontent

I once asked a rich, successful and very influential man what he regarded as essential reading for a new generation.  He hesitated only for a moment, and if I thought it would be some or other political or financial tome, I was mistaken.  The Bible, of course, he said. It is worth every moment of study, teaching not only the moral principles which are the foundation of every ordered society, but also lifting the spirits when in contact with the Spirit.
And then he added :  And the plays of William Shakespeare.  Not only for the wonderful use of the English language, but also for the amazing insight into the emotions, the passions, the frailties of human beings.
Yesterday morning I was reminded of both Shakespeare and the Bible.  Seeing my doctor on some minor matter, I was quite surprised when he suddenly said:  How tired I am of the grey, grey skies and the grey, grey days !  The weather is having an unexpected influence on my patients – they are becoming ill more easily, and taking longer to heal.  And my own creativity, so important in the healing process, is waning…
I know I am taking the quotation out of context, but was suddenly reminded of the lines from Shakespeare’s  King Richard III :  Now is the winter of our discontent…     
It has been a long, wet and cold Capetonian winter.  We seldom saw the sun, and the promised glory of the Namaqua spring flowers was washed and blown away.  And at times the wind was quite frightening in its gale force.
The Bible also has something to say about the weather.  About rain we read in Job 37 : 13  (the whole chapter is a joy to read) : He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love…
And Matthew assures us that …He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
And He controls the seasons.  Echoing Ecclesiastes, the poet writes:  When winter comes, can spring be far behind ?
And Ecclesiastes reminds us: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
God loves us, He cares for us, and every day and every season remains a gift.
Soon, summer will be here, and under God’s hand, the grey will turn to gold.
Cecile Cilliers

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