Last Wednesday, we had a blizzard in Omaha and Creighton University was closed. Nine inches of snow was whipped by a ferocious wind onto roofs and in doorways. Suddenly, in the midst of my busy week, I had a day of enforced nothingness. I always dream of a day with nothing scheduled and now here, in the middle of Advent, I was handed that day.
After my husband left the house, I thought that maybe I would finish the book I am reading. I also had some laundry to do. And several boxes of Christmas decorations I should put up. Maybe I would hang up the wreath in the guest room. Call the guy about the roof. Change the sheets in my son’s room”¦.. Within minutes, my To Do list for the day, this unscheduled gift of a day, was packed.
The scripture readings for last Wednesday included the wonderful promise in Isaiah 40: “They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar as with eagles’ wings. They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”
Those were all things I would need to make it through my massive To Do list. But as I pondered my day, as I held it out to God, I realized that maybe on that day, I didn’t need renewed strength. Wouldn’t it be good if I slowed down and felt a little weary that day? Perhaps instead of endless vigor, I was being invited by God to consider one of the first lines in the reading – a line I skimmed over at first: “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things.”
I lifted up my eyes and to see who created these things. Without a sound in my house, I stood at my front window and watched the deserted street, the beauty of the blanketed neighborhood and looked up at the falling snow across a dark sky. Falling snow has a great dizzying pattern when you watch it from below and its crazy journey was entertaining. Then I noticed that most of the neighbors had Christmas lights on their bushes and the growing snow gave a muffled glow to each lit tree and bush. It was the middle of a weekday morning, but it had a holiday feel to it.
I saw a car stuck on the corner, trying to make it up the steep hill in front of our house, and others stopping to give the car a push. I watched our cat gaze out the window, yawn and curl up for a nap.
“Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things.” Thank you, Lord. I dropped my To Do list and made a pot of chili and read last Sunday’s newspaper.