This past week we had a historic storm that blanked the Washington Metro area with deep snow, which crippled our area. Here are three things I learned during this storm:
- You eat an elephant one bite at a time– During this storm I was fortunate to have the use of a snow blower to clear the snow. While that may sound like a great thing it didn’t make the work easy. It is tempting to wait for the storm to end and then tackle the clearing. Resisting that temptation I can testify that it was so much easier to venture out in the storm for a short time to clear smaller accumulation. This of course doesn’t just apply to snow. Often we find ourselves in a place where the job seems too big. Even in the storms of life if we take it on in small ways we can make progress.
- People are not accustomed to accepting help– After I cleared my own drive and walk I ventured out to help many of my neighbors. I don’t say this to make myself sound like a nice guy. Rather, I was struck by the fact that most folks looked at my act of neighborly kindness with an economic understanding. That understanding was expressed by some offering me cash. The more interesting part was how folks felt like they owed me something. I wasn’t going to do this work to gain an IOU. Even the “Pay it forward” understanding stands in the way of accepting a gift graciously. Apply this to the message of the Gospel. Thankfulness is our best response.
- There is noting like a common challenge to unite people- I am blessed to live in a neighborhood that has a fairly strong sense of community. Even with that underlying ethos I was impressed by how many people were working to help each other. It was also refreshing to see folks out in the streets talking. Many folks may not have spoken in a long while. Yet here in the aftermath of a storm community was being embodied.