- Published on 22 August 2012
As I write this, I look out my window and see great piles of cold white stuff. And more is falling from the sky as yet another snowstorm passes through. The snow this winter has been a challenge, but we have handled it well. Thanks to Ron Smith’s oversight, our parking lots and sidewalks have been kept as clear as possible, and while some meetings and events have been cancelled or postponed, we have not yet missed a Sunday morning service. Bravo.
I occasionally complain about all the shoveling, but I actually appreciate the incentive for much-needed physical exercise, and the sense of accomplishing something visible and useful.
It’s also true that, as with many day-to-day tasks, shoveling snow can be a source of reflection on other aspects of life. My colleague, the Rev. Therese Baumberger, from New Hampshire, wrote the following, which considers shoveling snow as an apt metaphor for ministry:
Thoughts on Shoveling Snow from the Church Steps
Scoop a path wide enough for everyone to get in.
Scatter some salt to melt the icy hard parts.
Sand the places where people might slip.
If the snow is deep and heavy, scoop it in layers –
The upper, newer parts will be easier to move.
The lower, older layers have settled more.
They are more stable but more difficult to shift.
Be sure to lift with your strongest muscles,
Your knees that can bend and straighten,
To avoid straining your shoulders and back.
Move the snow with gentleness
And as much grace as you can muster –
Remember each snowflake is unique and beautiful,
And together they create a landscape of wonder.
Congratulations on surviving the winter, and now let’s look ahead to the renewal and resurgence of life that come with Spring.
Yours in the spirit of warmth,