1.6.22 … Going for a hike.
Do you like the snow? How do you see the winter wonder – a smooth white blanket of tranquility? A frigid harbinger of icy death!?
Nine days after Christmas, our little corner of America received 4 to 10 inches of frozenness. Though our abode kept electricity, many did not. Schools were closed. Kids built snowmen. And every slope in the county had sled trails down it. It was a great day to stay indoors, drink hot cocoa and relax. But not me … for I surrendered to Nature’s call to spend a few hours trekking the fresh powder. Sometimes, we just have to get out into the world no matter the circumstances. Me, well I chose to venture out.
The air was crisp. The sky was cloudy but the sun was making its impact little by little. The trail was empty except for footprints from earlier adventurers. I went to the Tobacco Prizery on the surrender grounds of Appomattox historical park. I got off trail a bit and walked through some fields that had no human footprints. Oh, there were several deer and maybe raccoon foot prints piercing the icy layer of whiteness, but they were not showing their faces to me.
The sounds of nature were serene … the wind blowing through the trees, the snow dripping in tiny and not so tiny bombs from the limbs (and occasionally down the back of my neck), the water babbling in the local Appomattox River, the snow crunching under my Salomon boots.
About halfway through the wandering, I saw it. There were green shoots of life breaking through from underneath the icy plateau. It got me to think … what actually is under that shell of whiteness? And I thought how this relates to life. What is under the shell we create around us? Let’s see what my mind pondered …
– Messiness is under there. Mud, slimy leaves, mush. And if someone looked deep into my life … messiness. Sloppy relationship skills, misplaced arrogant thoughts of self-worth, lazy efforts of minimalism. It’s messy. But God isn’t done. He’s still working on me.
– Permanent is under there. The snow, like all circumstances, comes and goes. But below that melting layer is the reality of nature that doesn’t disappear just because it’s covered up.
– Death is under there. Leaves that fell from the trees lie there decaying. In our way of life, there are plans. But the ways of life lead to death. Fortunately God’s ways are different.
– Life is under there. Small shoots were breaking through. Green blades pierced the whiteness. The gift of God, in the middle of our messiness and death, is life. The gift of God is life!
Know this, no matter how good life seems or how harsh it seems, if your whole perspective is only what you see … it’s not the full picture of reality. There is more. And what you see is like a wisp of smoke that will disappear. Ecclesiastes shows this so clearly. There is more to life than what you see. And God offers life.