Some people count sheep to fall asleep. Supposedly.
I couldn't sleep the other night; I had things on my mind. But instead of counting sheep, I started pondering what I like about snow. Odd, right? We New Englanders know snow and we love to complain about it, but that night, I started listing all the things I like about snow.
It's pretty. The way the moonlight glistens off of it. The way it sits on tree branches. I like the crunch it makes under my feet when it's fresh. And a field of freshly fallen snow seems so pure, untouched and innocent.
I like the quiet snow brings when it has stopped traffic and the plows haven't hit the road yet. Freshly fallen snow reminds me that He has forgiven me of all my sins and failures and made me as white as it; pure, untouched, beautiful.
I like how snow makes me feel safe in the warmth of my house when it's blowing fiercely and bitterly outside but can't touch me. That night, I found my mind drifting towards rest and peace as my I thought more and more about the beauty of snow. And then a thought interjected, like a gentle wise man speaking words of truth with no ill-motive.
Snow needs to be shoveled.
As beautiful as it is, as creative its purpose, snow still requires work. The steps must be cleared, the cars cleaned, the driveway shoveled and the sidewalks taken care of. Snow requires work; regardless of its beauty and peaceful attributes. And so does life. So does marriage. So does ministry.
Everything beautiful, anything of worth, requires care and the effort of love. And we are invested not because of the aesthetics or feelings of joy the object of our love brings us, for this would soon fade and lose the glory of its reward. We are invested because of the worth of what we are invested in, for it not only has value and impact on us, but also on others as well. More than we know.
Snow is beautiful. It waters the earth and blankets the ground for its long winter sleep. Yet it causes work for us; no doubt. But the next time you shovel some of that white goodness, look around at it all around you. Think of its value and beauty. And think about that treasured relationship in your life. It holds beauty and value. Think about all the things that cause you heartache at times, yet also bring great worth to this world we live. And as you think about it, realize it is all worth the effort.