As I sit down to write from the Hobbit Hole this week, I have the delight and pleasure of looking outside at the year’s first covering of fresh snow. I look forward to this moment every year for a number of reasons. First, I get to play my favorite version of “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” (recorded by Harry Connick, Jr., in case you were wondering)–it’s a tradition in our home. Second, I get to refresh one of my favorite poems about teaching and attention and the first snowfall of the year, “Undivided Attention,” by Taylor Mali–definitely worth looking up. Third, I love the joy that it brings to students, parents, and families, young and old alike–even if you don’t love the results or inconveniences of snow, it’s hard to argue with the beauty and wonder of it all. Fourth, I love the ways that snow proclaims the might, majesty, and mercies of the Lord. And fifth, I love the ways snow tends to slow and quiet things down. It’s this last reminder that I want to look at as we close this week.
In the busyness of our lives, slowing and quieting down brings much needed refreshment for our bodies, minds, and souls. You wouldn’t know it from our current cultural pace, but the Lord highly values quiet rest and refreshment for our sakes. Yes, we affirm that hard work is important, and it makes up the majority of our lives and callings. But also important is rest to our lives, so much so that God has made us to need sleep (generally one third of our days/lives resides here), and He has purposely and insistently set aside one day out of seven for us to slow down, seek Him, and rest together as His people. Snow reminds us of Sabbath, and it usually forces us to slow down a bit, whether we want to or not. For those of us who get to recreate and play in it, these lovely frozen flakes feel all the sweeter.
Space and time won’t allow me to go on and on this week about the many other ways the Lord uses snow to remind us of amazing truths, including His pictures of washing away our sins (as white as snow), changing seasons, and creation praising Him. One of my favorite verses about snow and God’s power comes from Job 37:5-6: “God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.” Only a God like ours could do so much with so many little flakes. Drive safely, enjoy the beauty (and the shoveling), and be blessed this weekend.