A winter wonderland has come to Colorado this weekend. It’s nothing compared to what’s happening in Boston, just an average, 8-16 inch Colorado snow storm. Nothing we’re not used to. We usually get a few of these a year with bigger blizzards thrown in every few years or so. This year though, has been mild, with more 60 degree days than snowy ones.
Since it’s been so nice, the promise of over a foot of snow sent people into an excited tizzy! Grocery stores sold out of milk by Friday evening. Stew supplies and hot chocolate flew off of the shelves like toys at Christmas. I took a big risk and didn’t go to the grocery store until Saturday morning, when the snow was supposed to begin falling and snatched up the last, lonely green pepper to make Chili. It was like the apocalypse was coming instead of an average snowstorm. But there’s something about a snow day that just excites people.
You might know what I’m talking about. The joy you feel when you go to bed as the snow falls in sheets because you know that the morning promises cinnamon rolls and movies instead of the school bus or work. When all of sudden, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in your jammies all day, eat comfort food, and do nothing but enjoy time with the people you love.
Growing up in a family with five kids, our house was the place to be for our friends because there was always someone to hang out with. I remember on more than one occasion we would have a house full of teenagers come over right before a blizzard hit so that we could all purposefully get snowed in together. God bless my mom for loving every minute and cooking up a storm while another raged outside for days.
Yes, there’s something about a snowstorm. It blankets the earth in beautiful peace, stopping our running and our doing. It forces us to rest. I think that’s why everyone was so excited to get snowed in this weekend. We need rest.
Suddenly, when the roads aren’t safe to drive on and businesses are closed, it’s ok to finally relax but that’s not how God intended it. He had hoped to give us a “snow day” every week. He foresaw our harried pace when he created the world and decided that we would need a day to stop. To sit. To rest. To slow down and enjoy the lives we are living.
“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.” Leviticus 23:3 (NIV)
This command that the Lord gave is actually such a gift. He desires for us to slow down and “Be still and know that He is God” Psalm 46:10. When we are still, we know Him. When we rest, we find Him.
Think about it this way. When do your kids use their imaginations the most? For me growing up and for my kids now, it’s when we just spend the day unplanned. Either at home or at a park and he can just be and follow the leading of his heart and mind. I believe that that leading is God-given and unique and purposeful within each of us. They are the things that drive us to take action, to pursue, to build, to love, to change. How can we hear them, how can we respond to them if our world is nothing but a cacophony of calendar crunching?
When we find rest, we find what dwells within us. When we find what dwells within us, we really find who dwells within us, and that is the real point. When I know who dwells within me and the passions he has placed there, that’s when miracles happen. That’s when we live life on the top of our game and we take hold of joy and everything we do points back to the glory of our creator. That’s how we change the world.
Look at the second half of Psalm 46:10. It says “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord desires to exalt Himself, to reveal His love and His plans and His good purposes to the world through us. But how can He if we aren’t intentional about slowing down enough to know Him, to find fuel and energy in the moments when we are parked like a car at a gas station? He will be exalted but it all starts when we stop.
I’m writing this on Sunday, the Sabbath day, set apart as Holy to the Lord. I can’t help but see the beauty in the fact that the Lord has put a stop to the dizzying pace of the Denver Metro Area by tucking us in with a blanket of snow. So we will rest today. We will be still in the beauty He has surrounded us with and know Him. We will seek Him in the perfection of the unplanned moments and what we will find is a heart that loves deeply and provides a beautiful context for the gift of rest.
You might not be enjoying a snow day today and, by the time this post goes up, my snow will probably be a puddle on the pavement but we are still allowed to rest. Pick one day this week and declare it a snow day! Do nothing! Rest! It’s ok! The Bible tells us so.