Thursday, March 18, 2010

Foul Weather Spirituality

After the powerful northeaster that hit Connecticut on Saturday we're enjoying a stretch of delightful weather: sunny and in the 60's. This feels like a reward for enduring a storm that knocked out power to thousands and resulted in six deaths.

I've been pondering the question of why it's so much easier to engage in spiritual practices in nice, calm weather. When it's sunny and pleasant, enjoying the outdoors and enjoying its beauty isn't difficult. However, storms are challenging for spirituality.

I think the issue is one of focus. In inclement weather, our focus is on things like getting to a safe place and yearning for our electricity to be restored. We're paying so much attention to the physical necessities of life, it's difficult to pay attention to the things that feed our souls.

Yet, there is something to be said for the "dark night of the soul"-- those times that challenge our resolve and test our faith. These are times when we have the opportunity to grow spiritually. Someone has said that character is shaped on the anvil of adversity.

Still, I enjoy the calmer, sunnier times. When the storms come, however, I want to see the soul-strengthening opportunities in them.

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