I suppose the weather here in Alberta has much to do with what I call the “New Year’s Blahs”. It is a condition that follows the Christmas season, usually arriving mid January, when all the New Year’s Resolutions have usually been broken (or not even begun yet)! The decorations are down and the house vacuumed and dusted. In my case, hopefully the house will not need vacuuming or dusting until Valentine’s Day…(I’m a terrible housekeeper). The weather is cold, snowy, and bleak and there are sniffles and sneezes in the house that has everyone in a little “under-the-weather” mood.
The stores are already filled with hearts and candy for Valentine’s Day, but the shelves are still half-filled with 50% off Christmas decorations, all looking sad and forgotten and scattered haphazardly around like those misfit toys in Rudolph’s movie. I usually wander through the aisles looking for some next year treasure, but usually I just feel depressed that the holiday season is behind and Valentine’s hearts do not warm my soul so early in January.
Certainly avid hockey fans this year are airing out their hockey jerseys and preparing for the shortened NHL hockey season, a great way to chase away the winter doldrums, but I am one of many who are “Bah-humbugging” the whole season more than a little fed up with a lock-out that saw millionaires squabbling over millions to fill their overflowing wallets when grass-root hockey fans can ill-afford the cost of tickets to the games. Drop the price of tickets guys and you might attract more attention AND fans into those arenas. That’s my rant for the day.
My husband tells me that the gyms in downtown Calgary are filled with those resolution-filled bodies who are determined to drop the poundage they put on over the Christmas break. He always laughs when mid February rolls around and the gym is a wasteland (or should I say waist-land) and only those die-hard fitness lifers are left to work out. No doubt a few newbies will return once again after the Valentine’s chocolate ponch motivates them back to the gyms.
Yep. It’s the New Year’s Blahs and it’s tough to shrug off.
To make it even more of a challenge for me this time is that we started the year mourning the loss of my father-in-law and every once in a while a wave of grief crashes over me and it takes time and energy to pull myself back up. Grief weighs a body down.
It is interesting then how God’s Word rises above the weariness, and combats the New Year’s Blahs like nothing else. One of my father-in-law’s favorite passages of scripture comes from Isaiah 40. The entire passage is entitled “Comfort for God’s People” in the NIV version. The people Isaiah writes to were in exile and they needed a word of comfort from the Lord. They needed to know that He was there, no matter their circumstances, and He would be their help and their comfort when their hearts were weary and their bodies weak. Today I invite you to read Isaiah 40 if you are like me and need a “pick-me-up” from the New Year’s Blahs. Let Isaiah 40:31 give you comfort and strength today: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”