The snow has been falling for the past twenty four hours. Periodically, there are breaks in the stormy winter clouds as they slowly move over the Ohio Valley. Sometimes when I look outside, I see a steady flow of flakes falling onto the already covered ground. Other times, it is still outside. Either way, it is amazing how beautiful snow can make anything look whether it is falling or settling into its place.
Snow is the blanket that covers the frozen grass, the leafless trees and the bushes that merely look like brush when they aren't covered in green. Snow makes everything pretty in a time when things really aren't that pretty. Everything that starts out vibrant and colorful in the spring turns lush and green in the summer and eventually fades to warm autumn hues. And then winter suddenly comes along and strips it all away. All of the leaves, the flowers and the colors are gone. Instead what is left is the bare nakedness of branches, vines and plants frozen in time.
Winter is not my favorite time of year. The festivities of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years is quite enjoyable, but these "cold" months leave me feeling a little blue and earning for the warmth and alive feeling that only can come in the spring.
Still when I see the snow fall, I know this is God's way of giving us some color in a generally colorless time of year. Sure, snow is white and white is typically not seen as a true "color", but white depicts purity, holiness and cleanliness. No matter where snow falls, it makes that place beautiful. It drapes over trees, buildings, cars and road signs like a blanket reminding us there is something far greater, far more important to consider than the chaos of our lives.
Have you ever been stuck in one place because of snow? Have you ever had to drive really slow to get through it? How many times during the warmer weather months does this happen to us other than some catastrophic event like a hurricane? No, in the winter, we are forced to slow down. We are forced to "freeze" just like the plants outside when a new layer of snow has covered our cars and streets. We have to be mindful of what we are doing out on the road in order to safely go from point A to point B.
I may earn for the warm sun hitting my face and letting my toes breath in my sandals, but I know there is a lesson to learn in the winter. Enjoy it. Slow down. See the weather disturbances not as just an annoyance for interfering in my day, but an opportunity to think about things in a different light. Maybe being "stuck" with people we enjoy being around is the perfect opportunity to get to know someone better. Perhaps driving slowly means that instead of being on auto-pilot and zipping home that we will be able to tune in to our favorite radio station to catch a sermon, talk show or listen to our favorite music.
Maybe we will learn something. Maybe we will walk away wishing we had more time to be stranded. And just maybe there will be another winter storm soon to cause us to freeze again before the thaw of spring brings the busy days ahead.