Dear Friends,

Greetings, on this (very snowy) Thursday! A personal reflection I wrote some 12 years ago comes to mind as I look out my window at this moment:

It's snowing this morning. It will be all day, I'm told... Blizzard conditions. Sunday is usually one of my busiest days; but not today. A blizzard tends to slow things down. Everything that I would have occupied myself with has been canceled... A storm-mandated Sabbath.

Might a blizzard have something to tell us? To a world addicted to busy-ness and identities rooted in what we do, a blizzard whispers, 'Stop. Business has been canceled. You'll have to find something else to define you today.'

Falling snow creates an eerie kind of quiet. Everything is muffled. Solid surfaces no longer respond to the stimulus of sound the way we expect them to. Inside our caves of wood and glass, we watch the snow bury our plans for the day and we feel the adrenaline of expectation drain from our systems. What we feel at this moment is telling... is it peace? Or panic?

Sometimes I honestly think that people drive off the road during a snow storm just to keep their high. 'No, this meeting can't wait. I'll have to risk it.' 'We need a movie... can't just sit around and stare at each other all day.' 'We should have gotten groceries yesterday... just didn't have the time.'... We'll stick our fingers in our ears and hum just to keep the quiet out. If I can drive off the road in the process; even better... The hassle and frustration of crashing just to keep the adrenaline flowing.

The blizzard says, 'Stop.' I will not be defined by what I do or produce today. I will realize how small I am, and find peace in that. I will remember those who do not have the luxury of thinking they can define themselves by their career, and those who lack walls of wood and glass to hide behind or escape from, and I will pray. I will read a book. I will listen for God in the quiet...

... Or, maybe I'll go for a drive
."

In a world of abundant noise, friction and seemingly inescapable expectations, may you receive the gift of quiet, this day, inasmuch as you are able. Bundle up, find time for play; shovel a bit, and then retreat to your couch, a coffee, and perhaps the well-worn pages of a favorite book. There is yet much we have to DO, together; but not today. Perhaps today, set free from routine expectations and anxieties, we might just receive the grace of quiet, and listening. For, as Jesus has said, "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." This day, may the freshly fallen snow be trouble - and grace - enough for us.

By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Chris

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