While snow days can be joyous occasions to celebrate for children home from school, for adults they are often unwelcome interruptions.
Snow days threaten with the extra work of snow removal and hazardous road conditions, and they also displace routines and anticipated activities. For example, over the last several weeks I have had to reschedule a lunch meeting with a friend a few times, and it is still not clear that our newest agreed upon date will come to fruition. Meetings get cancelled, work piles up, and the calendar gets scrunched up to meet fixed deadlines that are not concerned about the weather. Snow days can be downright stressful.
Snow days can open new opportunities.
A snow day can also allow for tending to things that are important that don’t seem to work their way up the queue that often.
For starters, I read two novels during the last couple of weeks. Then there is that closet to reorganize, those stacks of papers to go through, reports to write, taxes to file, and other responsibilities that lend themselves to accomplish on days when it is difficult to accomplish anything else.
During our latest snow day we decided to move the furniture. We only moved into our house in October, but we placed things in areas without knowing our needs or soon to be traffic patterns. We moved beds and dressers to face in new directions and open up floor space. We relocated dressers and end tables that would be utilized better in other rooms. We cleaned out closets. We liberated the flat surface on top of a desk that was being used to store loose ends. It was a productive day that renewed our living space. We even made a big meal and lingered around the table as we talked and enjoyed it. It was a day we would have not have had without the snow.
Maybe our churches could use a snow day.
Every church building I have ever worked in has had a very limited amount of storage space. When was the last time we cleaned house, purged our spaces of unnecessary build-up, and really made decisions about the things we won’t let go of for no other reason than clutter or nostalgia? We could really renew our space and open things up if we took the time to move some things around and throw some things away.
The challenge is that we usually think that we are too busy to deal with the piles. Or we feel too stressed out think about things openly. We are too complacent to ditch old habits that are no longer helpful. We could use a snow day. Maybe then we could slow down, regroup, re-purpose, listen and discern where God is leading us.
As the snow threatens again…dream with me.
What could happen if we did the same with our programs, structures, and ways of thinking through challenges? What could happen if we saw our basic assumptions and the furniture that goes with them as movable? What could happen if we removed the clutter, moved things to more productive use, and opened things up to live differently together?
My guess is we would pray for more snow.