I have finished packing for today’s Special Touch Gathering. This afternoon after ministry I have to do some last-minute shopping before Winter Storm Neptune slides in with New England’s next foot of white stuff. I am also thinking I should refill the wood rings on the porch with wood from the wood stacks and I need to make sure the cellar door is clear to get the snowblower out tomorrow morning should we have church.
Like most New Englanders I am tired and admittedly a bit cranky. This year we have experienced more snow in less time than ever before. We pride ourselves on being a tough, resilient lot but the air in my neck of the woods just now is filled with definite cantankerosity. People either have massive cabin fever or a burning desire to climb back into bed and not get up again until after Easter.
While this is the prevailing mood over our region, I realize it is just that, a mood and nothing more. While moods or emotions are powerful things they only have as much power as we give them. Frankly we are not supposed to give them much power. Moods are not meant to rule us. They are meant to guide us, inform us of current conditions so that we can then approach God for solutions in the Spirit.
Last year I met a missionary friend at a pastor’s conference. While the winter of 2014 was not quite as nasty as it has been this year this missionary had done quite a bit of travelling and ministering in very difficult circumstances.
I asked her, “I heard you have had a rough year of travel.”
“Oh it’s been absolutely terrible! One of my worst itineration years ever. The driving has been bad. So many services cancelled.” Then my friend looked around and noticed that others were listening in on our conversation.
“And I am so blessed!” She smiled with a wink and a nod.
It may be humorous but It is also true. We are blessed. We may experience hardship. We may face trials. We may be tired of snow. We may be in pain from shoveling. We may find ourselves feeling troubled, sad, even cranky. Yet we are blessed. We serve a God of love who has some benefit for us even through the bleakest winters of history. Let’s not let tired and cranky steal from us the truth that we are greatly blessed. Acknowledge tired and take a nap. You will feel blessed. Acknowledge cranky and choose to do something that will pick you up. Acknowledge pain and pray for healing. Acknowledge the trial but don’t let the trial rule. Find a way to put the blessing in the driver’s seat of life. Choose that now!