I should-a left much earlier. I was having a delightful time at my friend’s house, helping her decorate two hundred snowflake cookies for her daughter’s work party. Bing Crosby was serenading us with Christmas classics, the conversation was making us laugh and we had settled into a productive cookie-decorating rhythm. It had been a long day. I had met with a friend for an hour in the early morning, interpreted for the deaf for two hours during church and tutored two high school students for three hours in the afternoon. So, it was wonderful to slow down the day’s pace and get into the Christmas spirit before taking a long drive north to go home. A couple of hours had passed and I had, on occasion, glanced outside to admire the winter wonderland of snow blanketing the deck. I guess I had chosen to focus on the beauty of this first official snow fall as opposed to preparing myself for the blizzard-in-the-making….because, despite the obvious bad weather, I just kept icing cookies.
By late afternoon, my job was done and Linda was completely engrossed in the completion of the final swirls and silver balls on top of the icing. I saw an opportunity to exit so I quietly bundled myself up, said my goodbyes and headed out into the Arctic snowstorm that was now wreaking havoc on the roads. Why….. it wasn’t even snowing this morning in Beaverton and now I am faced with a two hour wrestling match with the slippery roads and blinding snow in Newmarket!! How did THAT happen?
After a necessary snowball fight with my friend’s husband, (he started it!) I jumped into the car and headed out. Of course, for most of my long trip home, I was driving directly into the snow and you know how that feels….big fat snowflakes smacking your front window, coming towards you like an army of unrelenting bullets. I realized my shoulders were up near my ears and I was hunched over the steering wheel, angry at myself for not leaving sooner. My husband called and I immediately started to bemoan my circumstances. He waited for a pause in my lengthy discourse and then quietly said, “Diane, just drive slowly – it will pass. It’s fine closer to home.” His gentle words soothed my soul. I caught up to a car ahead of me and for the rest of the trip home, I followed his tail lights, which pierced the darkness and helped me get some perspective on the road. I turned on the radio and sang along with the Christmas music. Chris was right – as I got closer to home, the blizzard stopped.
When we find ourselves in a tough place because of our own wrong doing, lack of foresight or just plain bad decision making, there are consequences. No one is to blame but ourselves and we need to live out the repercussions. Experience has taught me that “aligning myself in the light” is the answer – it provides much needed perspective that cuts through the darkness and the seemingly hopeless circumstances at times. God loves and forgives and comforts; He heals and releases and restores; and sometimes He just graciously moves us on but thankfully, He doesn’t rescue us from the natural consequences of our foolishness. God is wisdom, He knows us intimately and He knows how each of us learns best so that the deep life lessons truly impact and change us. There are times that He allows the onslaught of discomfort or inconvenience to show us things we need to see in ourselves.
It’s always better closer to home – the difficult moments eventually pass, the dust settles, the blizzard stops and we move on….hopefully wiser and closer to Him.
May the should-a, would-a, could-a discoveries expose the foolishness in each of our lives and cause us to walk in the light of His presence.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28 (NIV)