Word of the Week


I was about to writing a blog about my frustrations with this winter, but it was going no where good. Frustrations including:

Canceling church twice since December meaning the offerings needed for our survival are not as strong.

Canceling the church retreat this weekend where big plans were in the works for being more involved in community needs and missions.

Greater worries that with all the heavy snow cover our roof and brick work might not make it through the winter (hoping we aren't like that church in MD where the roof caved in due to the weight of snow).

Extra costs (over budget) for snow removal around the Plaza.

Loss of momentum in key projects as everyone hibernates indoors and takes a break (it seems) from responsibilities.

And, for me personally, a professional development trip this week to North Carolina most likely being canceled too.


Yet, to be a grouch about the snow seems a little wrong. Don't I often go back to the ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes that says "there is a time for every activity under heaven?" Who I am and who are we to think that we're in control after all?

While the volume of snow the past several weeks has put a cramp in our style as a church (and even to some of our personal plans as well), I have to say that maybe the snow is just God's way of reminding us to see things that we might otherwise overlook?

Yesterday, after Kevin and I ventured outside to clear off our mini-driveway (again), we took a walk around the neighborhood. In doing so, we struck up several conversations with our neighbors that we've never met. We learned of the experiences of folks around us trying to get out of our street and being stuck.  We watched the parade of VA-DOT snowplows coming through on the main road and greeted them with waves and applause (which was a joy filled moment to see the happiness on the workers' faces that somebody noticed them). We took pictures of the sunset peering through the trees at the park. We hurried inside and were more appreciative of a warm drink than we've been in a long time.  

How quickly we begin to qualify certain life experiences as more important than others.

If I could only be at church preaching today. . .

If only we could have held the church retreat as scheduled . . .

If only I could have attended to more pastoral and life tasks before we got snowed in . . .


But, who I am to think that the activity under heaven and you and I were to be about this weekend is not found in the simple moments of walking through the snow, cleaning our sidewalks, greeting our neighbors and appreciating home cooked meals? (Or in the case of those of you who lost power, the JOY of power when it came back on).

I know for me, my personal excitement and sense of internal momentum is growing for spring when we are more sure of our regular Sunday meetings together. It is good to be reminded (again) not to take moments of togetherness for granted.

So my prayers for you on this cold Sunday morning is that you would stay warm and happy in the company of your household, but also that God would give us all eyes to see the gifts this snowy winter has and continues to bring us. Gifts that begin with the beauty of creation and sharing quiet moments of rest and reflection at home. God's peace be upon you. AMEN