Snow, Shoveling, and Look How Far We’ve Come…

Hello, beautiful people!

As I mentioned in my welcome post, Baltimore has been visited by Winter Storm Jonas. And when I say visited, this was not a cute little visit from a friend dropping off some pie or something. Ohhh no. It was clearly apparent that the meteorologists were right and Jonas was THAT friend–you know, the one that you said could crash overnight and you looked up two weeks later…lo and behold, Jonas is still in YOUR domain, feet on YOUR couch, hogging YOUR Netflix.  The storm is over, but in his wake, he left 2+ feet of snow, and our cars looking like this:

IMG_6584 Thanks, Jonas….just, thanks.

Anyway, I called myself coming up with an expert shoveling strategy. Instead of waiting until the storm ended, I would periodically go out in the thick of it and shovel so that I wouldn’t have that big job all at once. That worked for a while:

FullSizeRender (5) See? Progress.

But then, I went to bed after two nighttime shovels, coincidentally the time of night when Jonas REALLY decided to show off, and instead of the progress I thought I’d made, I woke up to this:

FullSizeRender (4) Well, alrighty then.

I walked outside late this morning planning to dig out my car and was almost immediately discouraged. How was I, just one person, supposed to tackle all that snow? I only have one small shovel, and no real place to put the snow either? I found myself enviously looking at people who were outside with their children or significant others working as a team. I found myself getting distracted and shuffling through the songs on Lecrae’s Church Clothes 3 instead of doing work. And I lost a lot of the drive I had when I left my apartment.

So what was the problem here? Besides the ignorant amount of snow outside, I mean?

I let what I perceived to be my deficits distract me from my purpose.

I don’t have a cohort out here helping me!
My shovel is too small!
I barely got anything done and it’s been an hour!
I can’t do this!

Eventually, an hour and twenty minutes later, I stepped back and saw what I couldn’t see while in the thick of it:

IMG_6602

Am I finished? Not even close.
But did I make progress? Absolutely.

I find that so often, in our Christian walk, we get in so deep into worshipping, serving, praying and generally being made new that we forget what hot messes we were when God saved us. I can’t speak for any of you, but I KNOW who I was: profane, depressed, stuck, irrationally angry, closed-off, and not nearly as joyful. We look around and we know where we are and we think we know where God is taking us, but it can seem so far off:

God, you gave me this idea for a business…but I can’t even figure out where to start…
God, this degree is going to allow me to work for Your glory..now can a sista get a full schedule?!
God, I feel like you have called me to be a wife, but I haven’t had a date since Obama campaigned the first time…
God, all of my friends seem so close to You…do you love me like You love them?

And we get so caught up in where we aren’t yet that we forget where we WERE. How our souls felt that first time God manifested Himself and we NOTICED. How He took this ragtag, barely beating heart and transformed the mess out of it. How we have relationships with family members that we despised this time a year ago. How we pray first instead of picking up the nearest thing to throw (I can’t be the only one…right?)

Make it your mission to TAKE A STEP BACK. Ask a friend who has known you since pacifiers and Pampers (or as close as you can get) for an honest assessment of your life. Pray for vision and compassion…not just towards others, but towards yourself. And if nothing else, let me assure you that YOU. ARE. DOING. FINE. God rewards pursuit. As long as you are praying and trying everyday to be a bit more Christlike than you were the day before, God is so, so proud of you.

So yeah, Jonas Elsa and Olaf’ed all over the Eastern seaboard. And it’s a mess…but we will dig out and drive to and fro and life will speed back up eventually. Eventually as well, you will see the fortification of all that God plans to do with your life. You may only be able to see the footpath that you’ve made for right now, but trust me when I say that God can see the whole lot. You’re doing fine.

Be blessed,

StephTheScribe

 

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