We got several inches of powdery, fine snow last night. It’s been way less dangerous than our recent ice storm (which, thankfully, melted off Thursday). The roads are definitely less than ideal, though, so I’m planning on doing minimal driving.
Today, we normally have our Word of Life Bible study. However, after watching several cars fail to make it up the hill in front of my house, I decided not to ask my friends to try and hazard the drive. We canceled. I took my time to get ready for the day, preparing for our team’s home group… which, per a call from my worship leader, also was canceled. An email went out a couple of days ago saying that our normal NightWatch staff meeting was canceled. So Saturday, which is normally one of my busiest days of the week, is now wide open until my regular hours at the prayer room tonight. Which gives me some time to sit down, drink an egg nog spiced chai (YUM… yes, I’m at Higher Grounds right now), and just think…
I always feel pretty thoughtful when it’s snowy like this outside. There’s something about it that allows me to slow down, take a deep breath, and let my mind wander wherever it likes. Walking outside, the streets are quiet, because most people are sensibly staying home, and those who brave the weather are driving slowly and carefully. When everything is coated in fresh, white snow, unmarred by tracks and not yet disfigured by patchy melting, there is a muffled sameness about everything that makes the world seem suddenly more peaceful. Something about the snow makes me think of transcendence.
Because it’s so cold and powdery, my feet don’t make a sound, not even an icy crunch. I find myself walking gingerly and breathing quietly, almost afraid to disturb the stillness around me. Somehow, it makes me suddenly keenly aware of the fact that I am only a pilgrim in this life, my eyes set on a home that doesn’t rest in this age. I silently go on my way, no sound to draw attention to my steps and no eyes but His to watch me as I press on. It is a march unheralded and unnoticed, but that is part of what makes it so sweet. Also as I walk, I become aware of how brief is this journey, this lifetime. It’s but a vapor, fleeting, in much the same manner as I watch my own breath dissipate into the winter air.
Yet it also makes me excited for this pilgrimage, brief as it is. Something stirs my heart to look behind me and see my footprints as the only one to cross a drift of fresh-fallen snow. Though I stand in a place that has been traveled a million times over, there is a sense of forerunning, of trailblazing, of going where no one before me has gone. There is an excitement of discovering my small world, different and more beautiful than it was just a day before. I think of how forerunners in Christ are really only walking in the ancient paths (Jer 6:16). I think of how I am going MY way to the mountain of myrrh (SoS 4:6) — a journey oft-taken, but with my own individual calling and my own way to run. Though there is one straight and narrow road, traveled by many saints through history, God is taking me in His own way, by His own hand, leading me in the perfect way for my own heart to respond.
As I leave a trail of footprints, they speak to me, telling me that I’ve actually gone somewhere. I’ve taken ground. The proof lies behind me, showing exactly where I have trodden. Each footfall is recorded, each stride is captured. True, it will melt with the first sunlight, or else it will be obscured by the tracks of others. I think of how quickly renown fades in this life. You can get your fifteen seconds of fame, if even that, and it’s over. I have no delusions of going down in the annals of human history; I do not anticipate future generations to write ballads and songs recounting my lore. But I know that every step of faith is emblazoned in the annals of heaven. Every cup of cold water given in His name has been noted and will be rewarded. The Lord will never forget the way I have chosen, the ground I have covered, or the movements of my heart. He has a book of rememberance with my name in it (Malachi 3:16), and it is my ambition to fill the pages with a record of a heart that loved Him fully and strove to obey, remaining faithful even in the little things. Every footstep counts. Every “yes” matters. He knows where I’m going and where I’ve been, and there is great peace for my soul in knowing that.
So there is more to be said, and another post to be written with a bit more in the way random thoughts (if you’ve read this blog for very long you know that random comes with the package). But for now I’m going to pause and feel warm and gooey for a moment…