Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowed In

by Jenny

As anyone who lives in the upper Midwest knows, it snowed a lot last weekend. Apparently, we haven’t had snow like this since the Halloween blizzard of 1991 (which I remember well—it was my last year of trick-or-treating!). I don’t think many people did or could go anywhere last Saturday, unless it was absolutely necessary. We were all “trapped” at home.

While I’m not a big fan of winter, I appreciate the life reflection this storm occasioned for me. Especially in this country, so many of us are accustomed to the illusion that we are in control of our lives and our world. If you need something, you go out and buy it. If you want to “improve” yourself, you can get an education and supposedly, a better job. And if a “normal” snowfall occurs in Minnesota, you just get out the plows and shovels and go back to work. Not this past Saturday. I hope I wasn’t the only one who was reminded that nature is still powerful, and we aren’t ultimately in control of our own lives.

Reading Mattias’ post and watching the news about Sweden reaffirms my thoughts on this. What we consider to be our “safe place” can unexpectedly become filled with uncertainty. Unthinkable events can happen in our personal lives that disrupt the course we thought we were on. And the roof of the Metrodome can collapse and postpone the football game! While that is one of life’s lesser tragedies, I think it is a miracle that no one was hurt in the collapse.

Last week my discipleship group was reflecting on the meaning of advent. I don’t think about this very much, not being at a liturgical church that follows the church year closely. But this snowstorm made me think: part of advent, part of waiting, is recognizing our need for a Savior. We can’t do everything on our own, are we are ultimately not in control of our own lives. We are created to long for something more, an ultimate hope that is not in the things of this world. We need Jesus.

It’s surprising how being shut-in for just one day made me recognize a little bit of my dependence. It was a welcomed “mini-fast” from the daily busy-ness of life. It also amazes me how anxious I was to get out and go anywhere on Sunday, once the roads were finally clear. I guess I’m a product of my culture after all, although almost being run over on the way to Target by aggressive drivers who apparently were cooped up too long made me wish (just a little) that it had snowed for another day.


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