Friday, January 25, 2008

Snowy days...

Have you noticed when there is a snow storm, how quiet it gets? First, probably it is because all the traffic slows down or halts completely. But there is something about the snow that muffles every sound.

I can’t count the times I have been outside when it has been snowing, and it is so quiet I have been able to hear the snowflakes sifting through the tree branches overhead. Where I have been standing in the middle of the street, looking up at the sky and feeling the snow land on my face, and the only sound is the subdued breath of wind that swirls the delicate flakes around in the air. I love especially being out in the snow at night, it is even more still and peaceful then.

I love waking up in the morning after a fresh snowfall, and seeing how sparkling and clean everything looks. The lawn is smooth and neat and fresh. The roads are unplowed, the driveways still covered and all the sharp edges are smoothed over and rounded by a new cap of white.

Then the kids get out with their sleds and toys. Parents come out with their snow blowers and shovels. The city sends out its plows and salters. And we neaten and order and organize every bit of the snow into piles and places. The snow gets trampled and dirty, the lawns get millions of footprints in it, but the snow banks rise on either side of the streets, and driveways have huge mounds of snow all up and down the edges. Perfect for little ones to climb up on, jump in, eat snow off of.

And then God sends more snow again to clean things up, until it gets warm enough for it all to melt away, and let the green summer grass through again.
Everything has its season. In each season, whether bitter cold and snow of the winter, the cool spring promises of flowers and new grass, the steamy heat of the summer, the colors and chill of the fall, and back to winter again, God calls us to do one thing.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10
Be STILL (abate, cease forsake) and KNOW (acknowledge, be aware, comprehend, consider, discern, discover, be sure of, observe, recognize) that I am GOD (Elohiym - almighty God, the only supreme God).

What patience on our part that requires. To sit, to stop moving around. Even if our bodies are still, to quiet our minds, drive out the distractions. To be aware of Who is making the seasons change, Who is causing to snow or be so hot. Recognize and acknowledge and discern His hand in everything in us and around us. And to finally be able to say, “I surrender to You, Almighty God. There is no other before You, and You have control of me… this day, this minute.”

I struggle with this. I am very analytical by nature. I need to know why things are happening. I need to be able to think and reason out why things are happening as they are. What is causing them, what is God trying to do, or say to me. Why do I feel the way I do, why have things happened to me, or others, the way that they have. I need to reason it out.

I am willing to go along with the flow of others in the moment, but I also later have to “make sense” out of it. I have to order my world, at least inside my own head. I may love walking outside and watching, feeling the snow fall, but then I need to clear that driveway, make those snowbanks, clean up the roads after the snow storm. I have to organize it so that I can see where I am at.

When I am able to order and organize my world in my head, I am able to get a handle on things, and feel more stable, and better able to handle things that come at me unexpectedly. And then my children have snow banks to play on and sit in. They can mash them down, stomp all over them and knock some of the snow into the driveway. I always have a shovel to clean it right up after them. And I am still ready for when that unexpected snow ball comes my way!

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