Friday, February 27, 2009

snow emergency: a missed opportunity

I'll be honest. I'm tired of cold bathrooms, Snow and Ice Melt, and fogged up glasses. I'm weary of scraping my windshield, seeing my breath, and sliding around on icy walkways. I've had enough of the frigid temperatures, the enduring snow, and the leafless trees. But the reality is: I live in Minnesota and it is February. I didn't move here because I was crazy about cold weather and endless winter. I moved here because I felt called to do so. And truth be told I'm quite happy to be here, to be a part of my church, and to call this wicked cold corner of the world "home."

This morning my alarm went off before it normally would. It's Friday morning which is normally a day to turn off the alarm clock and go back to sleep. Above me I heard my neighbor rise from her bed as well. I dragged myself out of my warm covers and comfy pillows, put on a pair of jeans, my glasses, a fleece, my winter coat, some boots, mittens, and my hat, and then journeyed outside into this wintery day. My car was covered with snow, but so was everyone else's. In my sleepy stupor I looked around at all of my neighbors. People I don't often run into. Across the street was my neighbor who just minutes before was in her bed in the apartment above mine. And, warming the truck next to her were my neighbors who live in the next house down who I have yet to meet. When I finally pushed off the 6-9 inches of snow (which didn't seem like much after the Massachusetts snow storms from a few years ago), I climbed in my car to move it. However, it didn't much want to move, so I got out and scooped around the tires like my father taught me to do. I then got back into my car and inched forward until I got stuck, and then went back a few feet and tried all over again. Finally, with success, I moved my car about a block from my home, turned it off and locked the doors. I passed several people as I wondered back home. People I'd never seen. People who live a matter of feet from me. As I neared the house, I saw my landlord cleaning off his car and chatted with him for a minute. Then I slid my way back to my little apartment.

As frustrated as I was that I had to get up early and go out into the cold to avoid having my car towed, it was very clear to me that these are the moments I should be living for. Moments when we as people all have a task to do. Moments when I have the opportunity to interact with those around me. Moments when there is little pressure to communicate which somehow makes it easier to say a friendly "hello." And really, I guess it is no surprise that the Lord would provide mundane events like a Snow Emergency to give me an opportunity to begin to build relationships with those whose lives intersect with mine. After all, His Son's life intersected with ours when the Child came and began life in a barn.

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