Back in the ‘80s I lived along Florida’s Atlantic coast. For this northern boy raised between the rust belt industrial cities of Ohio and the “hills and hollers” of West Virginia the tropical scenes of the Sunshine State really brought out the “kid in the candy store” boy in me.
The beaches, surf, palm trees, constant breeze along with never again needing winter coats or snow tires really fit well with my laidback demeanor. After a couple of years of sun, sand and temperatures in the 80s on Christmas Day some realizations began to set in. While I can honestly say that I didn’t miss shoveling snow, I really began to miss both the fall and spring. The colors of fall along with the items of harvest are something you don’t miss until you have been away from it. As for spring, new life, new freshness and new beginnings all serve to return optimism to our day to day pace.
As with fall, spring certainly holds its own in the game of colors. Various and sundry vegetation bursts forth with a radiance that can only be described as spectacular design from an indescribable designer.
As spring projects a hope in opposition to the dormancy of winter, the question must be asked: what would life be without hope? A few short weeks ago all across the globe a celebration of hope took place that Christians call Easter and Jews call Passover, both commemorating events that give man something to hope in. I wish I could say that I have hope in our economy or the global community to put the nations on solid socioeconomic footing or trust in governments and rulers to solve the ills that plague the masses but alas, I find it difficult to muster any enthusiasm as such.
As I consider the heritage of our great state I think you would find it difficult to find pockets where faith did not exist.
Our state motto declares “Mountaineers are always free” and true freedom and liberty go beyond both physical bonds and shackles. In his book “The 5000 Year Leap,” constitutional author and scholar W. Cleon Skousen relates how the founders of our nation equate freedom of mind and body with that of the soul. Man intuitively knows by nature that life is more than the mere years we spend on this planet. That’s the reason he continually reaches and strives for the fullness life has to offer.
Our great state is indeed blessed with a springtime beauty that burst forth with a reviving hope that could well hold its own with any other spot on Earth. Our state is also blessed with the hope of knowing that such beauty and design rest in a faith that goes beyond formula or chance. Enjoy the spring and may it produce in you a zest for life along with a deep well of hope that, yes, life is indeed precious and worth living.
— Don Cherry is the minister at New Hope Church in Inwood.