If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live. – Romans 8:13
United Methodist Bishop Robert Schnase is from Texas. When he was assigned to Missouri, it was a weather-shock to him. The sub-freezing weather and occasional ice storms and blizzards were far from his experience down south.
During one especially brutal stretch of winter cold, there was a temporary break one day. So, he decided to do something decidedly Texas-like.
He BBQ’d. He said that it was quite refreshing to do something countercultural like this. You BBQ when it’s warm; it’s a rite of summer. But here, in Antarctica, Missouri, he was rebelling. He was standing up to winter. Later, in his book The Balancing Act, he drew out the moral of this rebellion: “Whatever the winter of your life–physical or spiritual, relational or emotional–rebel against it. With great audacity and hope and against all the odds, practice resurrection. In the midst of winter, look to the summer, the invincible summer.”
Rebelling is much aligned with what Paul says. Rebel against (“put to death”) the limits/excesses of the body, and you will live.
A good example is what anyone reading this can relate to: growing older. Eventually this body, which is fearfully and wonderfully made, will wear out. For a good dose of mortality, Google “signs of aging.”
Isn’t this a good opportunity to rebel? Here are some brainstorms for BBQ’ing in the winter as we age.
Celebrate what you can do instead of what you can’t.
Pause to observe the wonder of little things we take for granted.
Send gratitude emails to kind people.
What things ideas to your mind?
Winter may be a state of mind.