I hate the snow
Editor’s note: A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Sara Olson-Smith wrote about how she loves the snow. Pastor Katy Warren would like to offer a rebuttal.
I hate the snow. Hate is a strong word. Perhaps “very much dislike” would be a bit kinder. Some will speak of the peaceful, glistening beauty that comes with a fresh snowfall. Or the ways it’s necessary for a healthy climate. Which I won’t refute. But I still hate the snow.
Impending snow creates unsafe driving conditions, not to mention the pandemonium it causes in grocery stores. The slushy mess that’s left behind must single-handedly keep the car wash industry in business. It complicates travel plans. And a single snowflake might be pretty, but your back may not think so when you’re moving snow by the shovel-full. I’m happy to sing “Let it snow!” and dream of a winter wonderland in December. But by January 1st…I hate the snow.
And yet, as a friend reminded me earlier this week, “You can think the snow is terrible. But you’re just going to have more frustration and the same amount of winter.”
I refuse to use this space to sing winter’s praises. I wouldn’t dare. In the depths of this terrible spell of cold and snow, I can’t think of one nice thing to say about this season. But I am a firm believer that every situation presents an opportunity for learning and growth. So, here’s a few things snow might teach us:
First, it moves us to live with hope. As Christians, we live all year long as Easter people. That death would ultimately bring forth new life. That God promises to take the hurting, difficult parts of our lives and make them new again. While winter may well feel depressing and unending now, we know it’s not the end of the story. Thank goodness!
This must be why spring always follows winter. Because we survive winter year after year, we know what it’s like to live with genuine hope. Just as the words of Song of Solomon declare: “Look! The winter is past! The flowers appear on the earth and the time of singing has come.”
Snow also teaches us to be creatively grateful. Ideally, gratitude is a key part of the Christian life. But God doesn’t always instruct us on what we ought to give thanks for. Snow doesn’t have to fill you with joy and gladness. But we all can give thanks for the faithful workers who work through the night to plow our streets or the first responders who endure great risks to keep us safe.
I love snow about as much as I love preparing my taxes this time of year. But I also give thanks that our tax money pays for much needed street maintenance, social services, or school funding.
Finally, might I even suggest that we Midwesterners are better off because of this dreadful snow. Paul suggests in his letter to the Romans, “We boast in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”
And oh what we’ve had to endure this season! So we’ll suffer together, friends. And hold out hope that spring is soon on its way.