Our city was hit by a December snow event again this year. Although we usually don’t get snow until January, this was the second year snow arrived early. As I watched the “wintry mix” cascade from the sky and accumulate on the ground, I pondered the effect snow has on our lives, even if just for a short period of time, and what we can learn from snow.
Following are five life lessons from snow:
When snow is in the forecast, there is a flurry of activity. People rush to the store to stock up on food and other items, usually purchasing much more than is necessary. Traffic is horrendous. Horns blare. Impatience prevails. And then, as snow begins to fall, we slow, hunker down, eat, watch movies, and enjoy respite from the frantic pace of life.
You don’t have to wait for snow to slow down. Especially during the holidays, resist over-scheduling. What looks doable on paper or in your phone calendar doesn’t factor in unexpected events, illness, or exhaustion. Give yourself a little wiggle room and allow for periods of rest and relaxation. Keeping free time in your schedule should be standard for every season of the year.
Snow often throws a monkey wrench in plans and routines. Our choir Christmas music presentation was supposed to occur the day snow arrived. The forecast forced postponement and rescheduling, and along with those changes, the rearranging of our family Christmas gathering, as well as the schedules of others.
Many of us struggle with flexibility in change. We derive a sense of stability and control from regular patterns and traditions, and when those are upset, we often panic and have difficulty adjusting to something new and different. But learning to be flexible eases tensions for you and those around you. Accept change and view it an opportunity for new experiences.
One of the most satisfying things about snow is the way it blankets the ground, covering imperfections, and evening out flaws. Even the muddiest, most uneven, and unsightly terrain becomes a beautiful landscape with a thick covering of snow. Barren branches are etched and highlighted. Snow brings beauty and a different perspective.
Often we focus on the ugliness of life. We remember offenses, harbor resentment, replay unpleasant conversations, reflect on the pain of loss, or enshrine abuse. But we have the choice to forgive, let go of offense, shift our focus, and maintain forward motion, moving on to new yet-to-be-written
chapters of our life’s story.
Something about snow promotes introspection. Falling snow is mesmerizing and the reflection of the moon on a snow-covered landscape encourages quiet contemplation.
Instead of thinking about how far behind you’ll be after a snow day, allow yourself to ponder current circumstances on a deeper level. Think beyond the urgent. Acknowledge and give thanks for blessings. Listen for the “still small voice” that lends wisdom. Busyness is the thief of insight.
Experience Rest and Peace
Too often, our lives move at a pace that is not conducive to rest. We cheat ourselves of sleep with activities that aren’t always productive or beneficial. We fail to refresh spiritually and then wonder why we are anxious, confused, and discontent.
Despite the fast pace of the holidays, make time for rest and reflection. The world places the focus of Christmas on things, ignoring the true gift of a Savoir sent to redeem those lost in sin.
As you celebrate Christmas, remember the Christ child, born to bring peace and redemption and illuminate the darkness.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV
“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 NKJV