Recently I defrosted my large top-opening freezer; a job that should be done far more often than it is but which I find physically challenging. I always make sure my husband is at home so that if I do fall inside while trying to dry the inside walls and floor of the freezer, or if I aggravate an old back injury and end up jack knifed over its edge, I should be rescued reasonably quickly!
It’s time consuming taking the food out, packing it into insulated bags or newspaper, stacking the packages together and covering them with blankets, then waiting for the ice inside the freezer to melt, before trying to put everything back again in some sort of logical order. Past experience tells me that what I think is a logical order today will not seem so the next time I’m trying to find something I absolutely know is in there.
But the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Sometimes there are surprises, as packages which have lost their labels are puzzled over, prodded and sometimes even have to be defrosted before sharing their secrets and I may find I’ve got just the right ingredients to make some ‘old favourite’ meals again.
Most satisfaction comes when the job is done and I look proudly at (yet another) updated list of contents, which I promise myself this time I really will keep up to date; at least for longer than the last time I made that promise.
As daylight hours increase and I start to look hopefully towards the end of my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for another winter, I like to have a personal spiritual defrost and deep clean.
I ask for God’s help and grace as I start my expedition through the frost. What will I find in the darkest, i.e., least visited, corners of my spiritual life? What will take the longest time to thaw having been left untouched for so long? Will I recognise what I’ve found once it’s thawed out or will it melt into oblivion? What things that I thought were safely encased in ice and untouchable might be uncomfortable to revisit once their protective coat has been removed?
The scraping away of the accumulated ice can be time consuming and painful; the reminder of the contents I’ve forgotten – or not had the opportunity – to use, frustrating. But it’s also exciting to see what’s still there and to think about how those things could be used in both old and new ways.
I am excited about adding to my store of spiritual food and sustenance during the coming year. After my defrosting session I now have plenty of extra storage space to fill!
I know for sure that I won’t always be able to find the things I need when I need them, or maybe not recognise them when I see them but God knows where even the tiniest frozen blackberry has rolled to and will let me find it if I keep searching.
So, a quick prayer …. find the bag of stewed apple …. and the one of crumble topping and that’s dessert sorted!