Devotional message by Major Ian Platt, Chaplain at James Barker House Aged Care Centre

The winter is over - the dark early days, the cold nights and the drizzling rain. The heater has run consistently and my heating bill is through the roof. I've had sick days, coughs and colds and extra time in bed.

I did escape three weeks of the winter by going on a holiday in Vietnam, enjoying the heat and sunshine, wearing shorts or bathers every day. But still, I had to come back to the reality of winter in Melbourne.

Fortunately, now, it is spring - my favourite season of the year. The animals are having their young and the birds are chirping in the mornings (sometimes a little too early). The temperature is perfect - not too hot, not too cold. The flowers are coming out, the veggies are growing well and the tomato plants are in. The days are getting longer with sunlight and we're all happy. In the Bible, two verses from Solomon explains this season so well:

'Spring flowers are in blossom all over. The whole world's a choir - and singing! Spring warblers are filling the forest with sweet arpeggios. Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed, and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms. Oh, get up, dear friend, my fair and beautiful lover - come to me!' Song of Solomon 2:12-13

It is the season that brings so much happiness. In spring, we as people seem to forget about our problems and our health is at its best. We complain that winter is too cold, summer is too hot, but spring is just perfect. I certainly wouldn't complain if the whole year was like this season.

I can certainly go on about how we can't have spring all year round, how we need the coolness of winter and the heat of summer. But this is a time for great rejoicing. Spring is a time for new life, making new friends, doing new things or new adventures.

Spring is what you make of it. Try something new this spring, come alive and live to your full potential.