Signs, signs, everywhere signs

It’s the first day of February and daffodils are already blooming in the neighborhood. My hostas are sending tightly furled leaves poking up through the soil and I saw a buttercup smiling up at me from the dead lawn last week. My head tells me it’s too soon for all these signs of spring. We often have at least one snow in April and I want to warn my flowers to take a deep breath and wait.

At the same time, I love seeing signs of spring. I love getting hints that soft, warm days are right around the corner. Soon enough, I’ll be getting my daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun again. Of course, the signs could be wrong. More than once I’ve seen apple blossom bitten back by a late frost. The old timers look at the daffodils and shake their heads. “We’ll have winter, yet,” they say.

I have a terrible habit of looking for “signs” in every area of my life. I send out a query to an agent. If I don’t hear back in the first week, that’s a good sign. If I don’t hear back in six weeks, that’s a bad sign. If the agent writes a blog post about how to query, that’s a bad sign. If she writes one about having some room in her current roster, that’s a good sign.

Did Thistle eat all her dogfood and use the bathroom on cue before bed? That’s a good sign that we’ll sleep through the night. Is she rowdy and restless as we’re trying to settle in to sleep? Bad sign.

The catch is, I spend too much time looking for signs and not nearly enough living in the moment, playing the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m too busy trying to guess what card I’ll draw next. Planning and anticipating can be good things. God tells us over and over that we need to be prepared. But He also tells us to trust Him and have faith. I’ve got to stop trying to predict what’s going to happen next. Spring will come whether I guess the timing right or not. And it will come in God’s own time.

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