Sunday, December 22, 2013
I did something today I haven't done in a very long time- I shoveled snow. Leaving Houston at 4:20 AM this morning, I made it to Wichita at 3 PM. Overnight saw close to six inches of the white stuff dumped in Dave and Sally's front yard, covering their driveway in a blanket. Interestingly, I got to their house before they did- they had spent the weekend with their kids in Oklahoma City and I beat them to their residence by an hour or so. With a bunch of folks driving in tomorrow, the driveway needed clearing and I had some time on my hands so ......... I went to work. It took me about an hour but it didn't seem that long. Even though the temperature was in the thirties, it didn't seem cold at all. Due to traveling, I wasn't able to swim or lift today but the shoveling turned out to be a terrific substitute.
Do you know what? I had a ball this afternoon! It was so much fun that I almost was sorry to finish. Do you know what else? When I was a kid, I detested shoveling snow. It probably had to do with Dad pulling me out of bed at 6 AM with the words, "It snowed last night." No further explanation was needed- it was my job to make sure the sidewalks surrounding the house at 927 York Avenue, York, Nebraska 68467 were made passable for the world. EVEN ON GAME DAYS MY SENIOR YEAR IN BASKETBALL WHEN WE WERE REALLY GOOD AND I WAS SURE THE YORK DUKE FANS WOULD BE OUTRAGED IF THEY KNEW MY PRE GAME ENERGY WAS BEING SAPPED IN THE PRE DAWN DARKNESS! But today, at my brother's home, with a basketball goal standing forlornly in the driveway, I immensely enjoyed myself.
What was the difference in my attitude besides a few years? Back then, I did it because I was forced to although I did it obediently without grumbling; if you knew our folks, you know grumbling was never a viable option! Today, I did it willingly for the good of others and because it was my idea. Paul addressed motive in 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and verse 12:
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
When it was my father's will, it was a burden. But when it was my decision, it was a pleasure. Looking back, I'm glad Dad made me do it- he was teaching me discipline and family obligation under the guise of manual labor. I wish I had been more cheerful toiling in those sub freezing temperatures but there's a maturity level to factor in as well. At least, I eventually figured it out. Just wish Dad had lived to see it!
Applicable quote of the day:
"We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt."
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:55 PM