Snowstorms disrupt life. So do severe sub-zero temperatures. I have to admit, I have spent a lot of time over the past twenty-something years cursing snow. I don’t like driving in it. It seems like every time there is a horrid storm, I absolutely HAVE to drive in it - usually for a long distance, too. I also worry about my kids. Not worry like oh-I-am-incapacitated-with-fear worry, but concern for their safety because I know they are young and might take chances. I don’t like to shiver, either. Hate it. Being cold is one of the worst feelings in the world to me. So I have had plenty of complaints about the snow.
But last evening I experienced a different side of it.
I went for a short walk to the gym at my apartment complex. It was dark, windy, and snowing like crazy. It was also so incredibly quiet. There was a stillness and hush in the air that caused me to pause and catch my breath - then stand and just soak in the silence. I stopped and opened my senses to absorb the natural world around me. So much snow. It glistened and sparkled like diamonds in the streetlights. An occasional car drove by on clouds of stillness. Everywhere was calm, peaceful white. Wanting to capture the moment forever, I snapped picture after picture. But none of them did justice to the magnificent display of weather all around me. Snow landing on my cheeks was soft and sharp at the same time . I marveled and gazed - my eyes eagerly taking in the magical beauty of the moment. Silent sheets of silvery-white were swirling around and adding to sparkling piles already over a foot deep. There was complete and total stillness as all the neighbors hibernated inside the warmth of their homes and I alone was experiencing life in that moment at that place. I sensed God’s presence filling me and delighting me with nature at it’s most natural.
Moments like that do not happen often in a lifetime. Times where the raw power and savage beauty of nature overcome the senses and still the mind are fleeting and rare. But that is what makes them special. God instills beauty in all of creation. Even the most annoying and dreaded weather in the world has a loveliness to it which we humans are hard-pressed to duplicate. I started thinking about the reasons I complain about the snow. For the most part, they are human issues brought about my lifestyle and personal preferences. It’s sobering to think how easily inconvenienced I am. It is even more sobering when I think about heaven and how utterly amazing and awesome it sounds - and then I consider the fact God left there and came here because I am that important to Him. He did that because you have a special place in His heart.
When I stop and take time to actually experience my surroundings and absorb the energy of life as it unfolds, I notice God has brought uncanny beauty to the world and quite often, I miss it. It’s there in the budding flowers opening their petals to drink in springtime rain. It’s there in the blazing sun shining over an impossibly green meadow in the summer’s heat. It’s there in the blazing colors of leaves falling on a blustery autumn day. It’s there in a snowstorm that shuts my world down in the middle of winter. It’s a reminder for me I am loved, quiet moments are important, I do not control the universe, and God is always close by.