We missed the last snowstorm! It could have been 8-10″ but in reality there was maybe a half-inch of snow dusting the car-tops and sidewalks this morning! What a relief! And such a gift: I didn’t have to do a thing to bring it about! I just walked over to the window and looked out at the beauty of snow not there!
Now, if only the rest of the complications of life could be avoided so easily… and there were a slew of them lately.
I preached at a nursing home a few Sundays ago. A bus and a train to another train… And then the second train wasn’t running! I always plan to get where I’m going ahead of time – but the walking and transfers necessary to make that commute sucked up so much time that I ran into the building only a few minutes (and several frantic phone calls) before the service was supposed to start!
Then I needed to be part of a conference call – and the only time the rest of the group was all available was the morning before I had a afternoon meeting at church and an evening college class to teach. So I said, “Yes, I can make that time…” As one of my students pointed out that night, that’s about a half day of work in any other part of the country – but here in NYC, add in four hours of transportation (and 2 hours of work at the computer before the conference call) and my half-day workday was now something like 12 hours long!
Then I learned today about all the other complications I didn’t avoid in the past week or so… An announcement I didn’t make AND a request I didn’t send AND a registration I didn’t confirm because all three of those dates got past me! A mistake I made in a video that I will now need to re-record! A delay in a program… a budget imbalance that I should have seen a few days ago… oh, you get the point…
If only they were as easy to avoid as walking to the window and looking out… But then again, in some ways they are. I have known this about myself for a long time: I get too busy for my own good. And when I do, it is the details that suffer. The big plans, the larger ideas, the creative work – that never suffers because it is what I like to do. But the details that I am not that fond of anyway, well, they really suffer when my attention is spread too thin. If I would just look out the window once in awhile, I might be more focussed when I sit back down!
It all makes me wonder the old spiritual direction question: Where is God in all of this? Because if God is in the details, I am in big trouble!
But, seriously, it occurs to me as I ask the question, that I think God is out the window, playing in the snow that has or hasn’t fallen, taking a quick walk in the cold, stretching the muscles of body and brain, clearing lungs and making space for a few deep breaths to enter… Loving the big ideas AND the details - the snowstorms and the snowflakes…
And asking me to do the same.