And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2
As a kid growing up in Indiana, nothing was better than a snow day. We would sit around the TV in anticipation of the news telling us that our school was canceled. Nothing was better, as a kid, than seeing your school’s name on that list of cancelations. The best part of a snow day was that you never really knew when it was coming and therefore they always came as a joy. However, this joy is something that my children might never experience. Born in Southern California and now living in Arizona, snow is something that we have never had to worry about, thank God, but also a joy my children haven’t experienced.
This President’s Day I was determined to change all of that. We set out on our adventure to see snow early on Monday morning. Knowing that it had been warm in Flagstaff lately and it hadn’t snowed in a few weeks, my wife was not very optimistic that we would be able to see snow this trip. She was checking the weather and calling friends to see if there was any sign of snow that we might be able to track down. All of the reports coming back said there was no snow, but I did not let that deter me. My kids were going to see snow and have a snow day no matter what.
As we drove into Flagstaff, there was no sign of snow anywhere – well, nowhere other than the top of the San Francisco Peak.
With visual confirmation of snow on top of a mountain, I was determined to get to get to it no matter what. My wife was not so sure. She had already started negotiating with the kids about if we don’t see snow, then maybe would could get ice cream instead, because it is like snow. At one point as we started up to the mountain I said, “Oh we are going to see snow, no matter what!!” At that point my wife said, “Ok Clark Griswold (from National Lampoons Vacation), this isn’t Wally World. We don’t have to see it this year, there will be other chances.”
At that point I realized I was making this trip about me, and my desire to give my children a snow day, and was missing the fun of a snow day. What I had neglected to see all of these years, is that it wasn’t snow that made a snow day so much fun. It was the break in the routine. It was spending time with friends, not in school. It was for a day when you could do whatever you wanted because it was an unscheduled free day. No games, no meetings, no practice, and no homework. Just a day to enjoy life, enjoy friends, and yes enjoy the snow. As we climbed the mountain determined to see snow, I realized that it wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about snow, it was about us doing something unscheduled as a family and enjoying some much needed free time away way from the distractions of our everyday life.
With my wife’s blessing to turn back and the kids starting to think more about ice cream than snow, I started to look for a place to turn around and head back down the mountain. It was then that Savannah spotted a small patch of snow. Despite the fact that there wasn’t enough snow to make five snow balls, there was no turning back now from the excitement of snow. We continued up the mountain until we got to the Snow Bowl, where the road ended. When we got there, what we found was not the snow from television, or really snow at all, but more like really hard ice. But for kids that didn’t know the difference between snow and ice, it was like heaven.
This week we start Lent, a time of preparation for Easter. Often in our lives we get so set on a tasks and things that need to get done that we forget to enjoy life and the journey that we are on. In a world that is all about results, it is hard for many of us to take time away as we always seem to be on the go. Paul tells us that we don’t have to be like the rest of the world, we don’t have to be about results, but rather be transformed by God.
As we prepare for Lent and we begin this journey towards Easter, let me encourage everyone to not to get caught up in the busyness of life and even Easter, but take time to enjoy a snow day, a day or two with no schedule, with no agenda, simply a day that you can enjoy those whom God has placed in your life. As we prepare for Lent, let us take the time to be transformed...