The Cantata our Chancel Choir prepares and presents every year is scheduled for worship this Sunday. Of course the first cold and snowy day of the winter fell on Wednesday their dress rehearsal night. The orchestra is made up of musicians from across the metro area were scheduled to be at church to rehearse with the choir, which is made up of choir members and those who rehearse just for this opportunity. Don, our choir director had a look of gritty determination, as if he had faced this challenge before when I last saw him. This morning he reports that it was a great rehearsal, all the musicians and all but two of the choir made it through the snow and cold. It’s going to be a great Cantata! Lesson number one, don’t let a barrier keep you from your passion. Have courage.
Of course this was the first time I started my snow blower since last winter and so the suspense of pulling and pulling and adjusting the choke and then the throttle and then doing it all again was a little more than I liked. I never know what I’m doing; I just fiddle with it. It finally started. Second lesson, remember the little rubber button is to prime the cold engine.
The snowplow was working just fine as I went up and down the driveway until suddenly the auger caught on something and seized up. I didn’t need to look to know what had happened. Any guesses; in our rush to get to work neither Katie or I had bothered to pick up the paper that was now buried under the 5 inches or so of snow that Eden Prairie had received. I spent more time digging out that newspaper that was still rolled up in between the two stages of my two stage snow blower than I did snow blowing. My third relearned lesson of winter is to make sure you have picked up the newspaper before you start snow blowing. Oh! and turn off the snow blower even if it’s not running!
This morning I had a very early meeting. I was running late and so I jump into the car that had spent the night in my relatively warm garage, started it right up and pulled out of the nicely blown driveway. I got to my meeting just a few minutes late. It was dark when I went in and light when I came out. In that time the windows on the “INSIDE” of my car had not fogged but frosted over; you could have used a scrapper on the inside. Lesson number four give your car time to warm up, it’s cold out there!
I sat for five minutes to get the inside of my car defrosted so I could see to drive 10 minutes on a drive that usually takes less than 5 because of the slick roads to sit and drink a cup of coffee and write this memo. So I walk up to my barista and say in what some may say is a “witty” tone, “May I have a cup of dark roast please?” She, who usually has something equally “witty” to say, says, “No, we do not have any drip coffee products at this time.” I look over her shoulder to see somebody with his arms up to his elbows in the drip coffee maker. Realizing the screwdriver in his hand is not a part of the regular process I say, “What kind of tea do you have?” That’s right I settled for hot tea! Lesson number five roll with it, it is winter, the roads will not always be clear, slow down take a little more time. Things break, so try something different.
Embrace the challenge, be sure to prime the fuel pump, remove the distractions, give yourself some time, expect the unwanted and unexpected and try it you might like it, are all spiritual lessons I’m relearning today. This first snowy cold day of winter is a time to relearn many other lessons of the spiritual life. But I’m going to stop here and ask what are some of your life lessons that these first real days of winter re-teach you how to interpret and respond to the events of life.
Keep the Faith!