I think the cold and snow are getting to us. How many days now have we had below average temps and above average snow depths? This is getting ridiculous. It seems to have had its effect on people, too, as more and more stay in to avoid a dangerous fall and the bone-chilling temps. While staying in may be wise at times it can also be bad for your health, even leading to the dreaded...Cabin Fever!
You know Cabin Fever, that term used to indicate the abnormal behaviors people exhibit when they have been cooped up for too long. The dictionary defines it as a claustrophobic reaction when an individual or group has been isolated or shut-in for an extended period of time with nothing to do. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustrations, and more. Have you noticed any of that around your house? Or should I say, any more than normal?
Cabin Fever can set into churches just as easily as it can set in at home. Did you know that there are several ministry implications to Cabin Fever? Laugh all you want but churches can take on behavior modifications when they become too closed in—symptoms like restlessness, irritability, complacency, and irrational frustrations.
Funny thing is, the best antidote for Cabin Fever in either place is to GO OUTSIDE! It sounds simple but if you have been shut in long enough you might have even forgotten what it is like outside and it can be downright frightening. Fortunately, we were never meant to be interior creatures, but created to get out there. For it is outside our comfort zones that the most amazing gifts await us.
When I lived in Vail, Colorado we used to love it when the really heavy snow storms whipped up because that meant all the fair-weather skiers and tourists would stay inside and the rest of us hardy folks could enjoy the best skiing all to ourselves. Any discomfort of the weather seemed to drift away as we floated on clouds of powdery snow. It was a sensation those who did not want to be inconvenienced never got.
Ministry sometimes is like that. People look at a tough project or job and want nothing to do with it. They just hunker down until it all blows over and the blue sky comes out again. But hardy Christians who head out in all kinds of conditions know that the best life has to offer is often awaiting them in those difficult conditions.
Now you might say to yourself, “Wow, Pastor John really needs a ski vacation, it’s starting to affect his work.” Or you might realize that you are the one who needs a break from the hibernation of your faith and you could really use a cold, crisp engagement to wake you up. Through our various programs and ministries there are always fresh opportunities for you to get out there and engage your life of faith; all it takes is one step. So come on out, the weather is perfect, and you can get fresh tracks all day.