If you know me at all it is no secret that winter is my least favourite time of the year. To say that I am not a fan of the cold or the white stuff is putting it lightly. As the weather gets colder I find myself on travel websites dreaming of palm trees and sandy beaches… All that to say I was not thrilled with the Blizzard that greeted most of Atlantic Canada this past week and gifted students with the rare double snow day.
Even though I would much prefer a hot summer day, I think there are lessons for us to learn from snow days.
Here are four that came to my mind this past week.
#1 – The world keeps going just fine without me. Sometimes in the busyness of my schedule and all of the things I have to do I can get caught up in it all and think that it all depends on me. Snow days, when the schedule goes out the window and I just stay home, are a good reminder that I’m not all that important. The same principle I think holds in our attempt to partner with God in mission. As important as it is for us to join with God it is even more important I think to remember that it is God who does the work and we don’t need to do it in our own strength.
#2 – Look for the positive. I’ve already mentioned that for me the snow is not a good thing. A Blizzard and double snow day would not be what I would usually refer to as a positive thing. At the same time, as I watch my children celebrate the news that school is cancelled and play outside in the freshly fallen snow I am reminded of the importance of looking for the positive. Rather than dwelling on the negative it is important for us to be people who think about things that our good, noble, and true. After all, who wants to spend time with someone who is complaining all the time and it is pretty hard to be missional if no one wants to be around you.
#3 – Family is important. Two days home with my children reminded me just how important they are and how worthy they are of my time and attention. Again, this is a good lesson when meetings and programs and events fill up the calendar.
#4 – Rest is a good thing. I worked from home the second snow day but took the first one just as a day off. I did nothing work related at all. I did clear the driveway but spent most of the day playing with the kids, enjoying strong coffee by the fire, reading a book that I have been meaning to get to, and taking it easy. It was wonderful. The result of that day was renewed energy and drive to get at the things that needed to get done the next day! It is almost like we were created for a rhythm like this. Mark Buchanan describes Sabbath as God giving us permission to take a snow day every week. Why wouldn’t we take Him up on it! We will be much more effective in mission and ministry.
These are a few things that I was reminded of this past week. And as much as I might wish otherwise, I’m sure there will be many more chances for me to learn these lessons before summer gets here… the Weather Network is calling for more snow tomorrow, Saturday and Monday.