Is March Madness about basketball or the bizarre weather patterns this end of winter month seems to bring us? This particular March began like a lamb with pleasant spring-like sunshine. Then it briefly dipped into winter cold; back to lamb-like temps with flowers blooming ; and then, just to keep us on our toes… the lion awoke to deliver us cold, wet snow.
The 3 inches of snow that covered our driveway was nothing we couldn’t handle but let me tell you about madness in March. My home team of more than capable shovel-meisters thought it was a good idea not to thoroughly shovel the snow off our driveway on day one of the storm. A slight shoveling around the cars would be sufficient. As Julia Roberts says in “Pretty Woman”…big mistake, BIG!
Overnight the leftover snow transformed into an all-out arctic shelf of solid ice.
(Question: Can three inches of snow turn into 4 inches of ice?)
Observing the spotty job and knowing the forecast of frigid for day two and more frigid for day three, my initial reaction was to give my fellas the verbal once over. Thankfully, I made a rare choice not to complain for two good reasons.
(1) They did a beautiful job on our friend’s house who happens to be a widow and appreciated the surprise of a shoveled driveway and front walkway.
(2) I was inside warm by a fire reading a book while they were out braving the cold.
Unfortunately, the next day the driveway became my problem. I had one helper, and my 87- year-old father who was climbing the walls after being iced in for two days. I looked at the clock and had one hour to free his car before a conference call I had to be on. I thought, No problem!
We grabbed our snow shovels and headed out. The plastic shovels proved utterly useless. Next line of attack was gardening shovels and even a pitchfork. “Nope.” They were all pain and no progress. Then I noticed a dusty, heavy axe nesting in a dark corner of our garage. “Aha, that’ll do it!” I grabbed it and went to work. (What a pity I wasn’t wearing my favorite flannel shirt to have that true lumberjack vibe going on.)
I barely had to put any pressure on the down swing of my tool slash weapon. Its sheer weight and sturdiness practically did the job for me. This new beloved axe not only broke through the ice, but it created instant large chunks that we could grab and toss away. It took some serious work but this axe was the answer to ice debacle.
The next time you experience a storm in your life and ‘good enough’ seems to be the easy choice … think again. While it may seem easier to ignore or delay confronting a challenge, often a burden not handled at the onset can become the difference between a relatively easy clean up with plastic shovels and the hard labor of breaking hardened ice.
The good news is God wants us to give our storms over to Him. He is the strong axe that breaks up our ice patches and frees us to move forward into the ice melting light and warmth of His love. The result? A freedom to live life fully and joyfully. This week, call on God in prayer to free yourself from the burdens of grudges or sin that have built up in your life. Make a check list of who you may need to forgive for something. Maybe it involves forgiving yourself for poor choices? As pastor and author Rick Warren says, ““We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7-9
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” 1 John 5:4
“If man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred. Like the moon seen through a dirty telescope.” C.S. Lewis
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer
Monday Must see Video: Frozen – Ice Workers Song