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Blog Feature

By: Jim Stinson on May 6th, 2014

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The Promise of Spring

assisted living | Aging & Caregiving

By Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes

watering flowersThe obvious thing to write about is spring! At least that was my thought when I sat down to write this blog.

But what about spring? Why is it the favorite season of the year for so many people? Why do I begin to look forward to it in late February? Why? Is it that winter has been too long by then? Maybe, but I’m tired of winter before it even begins, so that most likely isn’t it. Is it because I can open my windows without wasting the heat? Perhaps, but opening them wide for the first time in months reminds me of how many windows I have to wash when I do, so that isn’t it either. Is it because I don’t have to mess around with overcoats, gloves, boots and such? Maybe, but, on balance, those are minor inconveniences, so it is not likely that either. So what is it about spring that is so appealing?

In a word, Promise. Spring is a season of renewal; a season of being reminded that winter isn’t forever. It is a reminder that new life is still possible. It arrives with the crocuses popping through earth that is still hard as a rock, seemingly unable to crack open. It comes with earlier daylight and later darkness, which at times had seemed impenetrable. It comes with a vitality that its very name suggests. It bounces, it springs into being, just about the time winter has refused to let go, promising an end is in sight, as well as a new beginning.

What is it about spring? It is the promise that in the darkest times of life, light seeks to shine; in the most despairing moments of our lives, hope strives to pop out. Spring comes and reminds us that there is always the possibility of new life.

What a needed reminder! Especially to those who are feeling the effects of aging, the decline in one ability or another, the ever increasing doctor’s visits and medications. Especially to those who are feeling as if their most meaningful days are over.

Life, even in the winter of our experiences, is always possible. Hear the reminder! Take heart!  Bask in the sunshine! Do the best you can do! Be the best you can be and like the crocus, pop forth into new life!  

But more importantly, find ways to share the possibilities of spring with the older adults in your life. Is often easy for them to forget that the promise of new life does not come with an expiration date. Share hope and possibility with them.

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About Jim Stinson

I first became an ordained member of the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church fifty years ago. Through my time with the pastoral ministry, I worked extensively with older adults, many of whom were members of my congregation. I also served as the Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes from July 2002 until my retirement in July 2015, providing guidance and support to residents, family members, and staff. I love reminding people that “old” is not a dirty word and encourage others to adopt a healthy perspective on aging. I am also the author of a book, Just Because I Am Old – A Practical and Theological Guide To Caring, which was recently published in 2014.

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