Even if you are not a huge fan of the cold white stuff, there is something quite picturesque about new fallen snow covering the ground and dusting the trees. Many people in our area would say that we have received more than our share of snow this season, especially when it is accompanied by freezing temperatures and brisk winds.
Other regions of the nation enjoy the jokes and laughter at the expense of our predicament, but the simple fact is that we have seen minimal reason to expend the necessary funds to be equipped for significant snow fall and accumulation. The assumption is that northerners know how to drive in the snow, but it can be argued that their road conditions are not as severe because their cities are better equipped for such circumstances.
However, no amount of discussion and debate can change the fact that snow greatly impacts life in our region. Schools close, churches cancel services and activities, and a large sector of the business world is unable to make it to work. To a degree, everything stops until the temperatures rise and the ice melts from the roadways.
The inconvenience that such weather causes can be frustrating. Flights are delayed, road trips are canceled, plans are changed, special events are missed, and the media warns us to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to be out on the highways. Can there possibly be a silver lining in this snow-filled cloud?
One reason for the frustration is that we are a society on the go. We stay busy. We discover new ways to save time and then fill it with more busyness. We do not like to be still. We do not like to wait. We do not want to relax. Cooped up in the house for a day seems to drive us batty.
Nevertheless, we all need down time. Physically, emotionally, and socially, our overall health demands periods of rest. I confess that I enjoy peering out the window to see few if any vehicles on the roads. Decades ago, such a phenomenon would be a weekly occurrence, every Sunday. Years ago we would experience it at least on holidays. Today, even holidays do not take a holiday. Sundays and holidays are treated no differently than any other days of the year. Our world does not stop; it refuses to be still.
The snow, however, forces us to stop, or at least expects us to slow down. Families staying home can eat together, play games, read books, play in the snow, and simply enjoy being together. Personally, I welcome the excuse to take a break from routine and a full schedule. The Bible teaches us that the Sabbath was made for man: a time to refresh, replenish, and re-energize in order to pursue our calling the rest of the week.
Could it be that this recent snowbound adventure will help us appreciate and create periodic opportunities to disengage for the sake of our health and our families? If so, it will make us better in the long run.
Steven Callis is the minister at First Church of the Nazarene in Douglasville.