Tag Archives: Ecclesiastes

Hiding Under the Frosty Icing of Snow

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.

Throw Out That Food

This is not about diet. This is not about any recall. This is not even about my displeasure to see, to say the name of, and especially to eat veggies. It is about throwing bread out. Cast it out there.

In the philosophical bent of the wisest man to ever live, a writer once told his readers to cast their bread out on the water. He goes on to say you will see it return in many days. (Ecc. 11.1) This is not about investment and industry. It is about doing good, being a blessing to others. You may not see results, but in the long run you will.

This week, I was greatly blessed by some peeps. A text encouraged me in saying a long time absent church member is coming back. Another shared about how God has been touching their heart lately, specifically in our worships.

I am not looking on the mirror right now, and saying what a stud of a preacher. There are far better that speak elegantly and look so much better. But I was blessed.

So, on day five of my five day challenge, I am committing to be a better blessing to others. To look for ways brighten someone’s day. To be used as an instrument in helping, serving, and touching someone’s journey though this world.

And I want to start at home. So each weekday morning, I desire to say a blessing over my wife. To encourage her, challenge her, and ask God to use her at her job and throughout her day. I am not there at her office, rarely see her from 7a to 6p. But I want her to know she has a purpose and an opportunity each and every day.

She left before I woke today. So here is my blessing to her, may she receive it and be encouraged –

May the God who works all things out show Himself in small, yet intense ways

Not in thunder or epic moves, but in simple, intimate ways you know it’s Him

May you reflect His grace to those around you

What can each of us do …

  • Put candy on your desk
  • Be a secret Santa all year long
  • Always smile and have positive words to say
  • Tip a bit extra at lunch
  • Text someone randomly and say God loves them
  • Even text a random number not on your contact list, freak a stranger out
  • Call your credit card customer service just to say thank you for their service
  • Bake cookies for the Police, Fire, bus driver, Uber or anyone.
  • On a business trip, buy cookies for the night auditor (an often unappreciated position)

Be creative. Be a blessing. Cast that out on the water. In the end … you’ll be the one blessed.

To every reader, you are a blessing to me. The numbers I see are not just statistics but individuals who share their day with me. Thank you.

Have a great day.

My first five of 2020 to do every day.

Day 5 … be a blessing to someone

Day 4 … let others see Jesus in you

Day 3 … sing more, it’s healthy

Day 2 … power of staying positive

Day 1 … live with eternity in mind