Yesterday our fair city declared a snow emergency, with heavy snow from Sunday night until early this morning. We got nearly a foot of the cold, wet, white stuff. When I was a kid I loved the snow; I couldn’t get enough of it. Now that I’m a “responsible adult” (my friends may be snickering as they read this), I find snow more of an inconvenience. I took care of the snow on my long, steep driveway yesterday, mid storm, to reduce the amount of work it would take me this morning. After 20 years in my home I’ve learned a few lessons.
I know that when the snow gets deeper than 5 or 6 inches my snowblower has a difficult time. I’ve learned that in big snow storms I’m better off blowing the snow multiple times throughout to minimize the difficulties and frustrations that arise in deeper snow. I’ve come to know, given the amount of snow, precisely how long it will take me to complete the task. This is important, because it informs me as to how long I can stay in bed and still make it to work on time!
Growing up in a military family, being on time always meant being early. If you weren’t early, you were late. So when I rolled out of bed at 5:20 this morning I knew that I would be done just before 7:00, leaving me just enough time to shower, get ready for work and make the commute that would see me 15 minutes early (or should I say “on time”?).
Proper preparation prevents poor performance!
I stepped out into the snow this morning and headed to the garage to get the snow blower, even though I was aware that a neighbor across the street was having a difficult time getting out of her driveway. Yes, I know.
I reminded myself that there are at least four adults in that household, and only two of them were out there–one in the car and one shoveling and pushing. With each pass up and down my driveway this fact turned over and over in my mind. It was exactly like the old cartoons; there was an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.
I rehashed my preparation for this snowy morning. I had done the necessary things the day before so that there wouldn’t be any problems this morning. After all, poor planning on their part didn’t constitute an emergency on mine. Right?
After three or four passes I shut my snowblower off and went over to help. I knew it would make me late for work, but I knew that if I were stuck I’d want someone to help me out. You know, that whole good Samaritan thing…. And I had just written about this here and here!
After 15 minutes or so we had her out of the driveway and off to work. Yes, I was late for work. And my selfish flesh was still a bit angry that the other two adults in the household didn’t come out. It was upset that they hadn’t made any efforts to clear their driveway before someone had to leave. I felt put out and inconvenienced. Have you ever done the right thing and felt bad about it?
That little devil on my shoulder sighed in disappointment as the angel patted me on the back. Obedience to the Word, regardless of the impact it has on my life, helps to develop humility in me. And humility helps to more strongly develop obedience to the Word.
I have to remind myself…frequently…It’s not about me. It never has been about me. When I allow myself to believe that it is I make myself out to be greater than God. I’m ashamed that it took me so long to do the right thing. But I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit was gentle with me through my disobedience and led me to obedience and the cross.