Sunday, January 24, 2016

The big snow...and the lesson.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. [Galatians 6:9]

I live in a bedroom community for Washington D.C.  Its name is Bryans Road, MD and it is in Charles County.  We recently just got hit with a snowstorm - perhaps you heard about it :)  The official reports vary, however, I will say that my back and front yard had over 30 inches of snow.  It was quite impressive.

Here is a pic from my back porch.

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Now, it continually snowed beginning Friday afternoon and it did not end until Sunday morning.  It was the largest snow accumulation in a two day period that I ever remember being a part of [And I grew up in Michigan!]

Now, on Saturday morning it had accumulated about 15 inches.  I went out to my driveway and decided to shovel the driveway.  Needless to say, about ten minutes in, I wanted to quit.  The snow was thick, deep, and overwhelming.  But here is the thing - I knew that if I quit I would not be able to get out out of my house.  I would not be able to traverse the roads later.  I knew that if I quit I would eventually just have to go back and do it later.  And if I waited until later the snow would simply accumulate more. In addition, I also knew that it was still snowing.  So I also knew that after completing the driveway once, I would simply have to do it again tomorrow.  However, if I waited until tomorrow, the snow would be 30 inches instead of 15.

So I did not quit.  I just sighed, and kept digging.  And with each scoop I simply said to myself, "slow and steady wins the race..."  And 2 1/2 hours later I was done.  One scoop at a time.  One shovel full at a time.

I know it is a cliche to say, "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step" but the lesson for me from this big snowstorm is simple - this life is hard.  Sometimes - sometimes - it just keeps snowing.  Yet, if you give up there really is no point.  It is going to snow whether you like it or not; so you just have to keep digging.

Now, interestingly enough, I was not alone in this.  Everyone I know is digging, or has dug, out of their house.  They see the immediacy of the need so they also do not quit.

Yet, too often I do not see this same, "stick-to-it" attitude amongst so many in other areas of life.  It is almost as if people see the need in the immediate so they do what is necessary; but when it comes to the bigger things in life they do not see the too often people quit.

I can remember going to college and thinking about all the classes still left to take.  I can remember thinking of giving up.  Yet, at just the age of 18 I would say to myself, "well...If I give up, what then?  I still have to live life..."

I can remember wanting to give up in Seminary.  I can remember that it was a rough slog - but I also can remember thinking, "If I give up, what then?"  I was taught at a young age that giving up is simply not an option.  I was taught to think about consequences.  I was taught that life is hard so get a helmet and move on.

I can remember in High School when football double sessions began at 530am during the summer and I can remember wanting to give up.  But thank God for my mother - she would drag me out of bed and not allow me to give up.  If I committed to doing a thing - then that thing needed to get done.

And you know what?  Sometimes when you complete a task you have to go right back and do it again.  This morning I went back outside and shoveled the driveway again.  Because it just kept snowing.

This weekend has been a lesson in life - sometimes it just keeps snowing and there is only one thing to do - dig.

Folks, just do not give up.  It is not an option.

And here is the thing - Football in High school ended and I am a better person because of the teammates, coaches, and experience.  I did graduate College and Seminary and I am so blessed to be a pastor.

Life is hard.  Get a helmet.  Keep digging.  And the good news is this - God is real.  When you want to give up, when you have had enough, when you call on Him - He helps.  And when you fail - He will forgive.  But get up.  Do not give up.