God made two big lights, the larger to take care of the day. Genesis 1:16
I am convinced God inspired someone to put Christmas Day on the calendar near the shortest day of the year to brighten the dark December nights. I look forward to the bright lights that adorn houses and yards during the holiday season. The color extravaganza lifts my spirits during my drive home from work. I only wish the lights could shine on until the first day of spring.
While living in the Midwest, I always dreaded the months after Christmas, especially the cloudy, cold days of January, that made the eight hours at work seem more like ten. I’d get restless, walk the hallways of the church, and end up in the copy room munching on stale Christmas cookies. By mid-afternoon, I’d have to fight the temptation to surrender to the couch in the youth room that beckoned me to lie down for a nap.
During the first winter I worked in the Valley of the Sun, I took advantage of the sixtyish-degree days and spent my lunch breaks outdoors basking in sun rays. By the end of March, I realized that I had not gone through the winter doldrums and could only conclude that while living in Illinois, I had been a victim of SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Not everyone can live in a state where the sun shines over 300 days a year! That’s why brilliant engineers (perhaps from Antarctica or Norway) developed a special light-therapy lamp for people with symptoms of SAD, and why doctors sometimes have to prescribe anti-depressants for those who can’t shake the doldrums.
Even though the sun shines brightly in Arizona during the winter months, it is dark before I arrive home from work. I continue to wish that the holiday lights that brighten my spirits during December could shine until spring.
Dear God, shine on me during cloudy days. Amen.