Lessons from a Snowy Road
January 15, 2007
It was a raw, nasty day, with subzero temperatures and blowing snow concealing what sun there might have been. When I looked down the narrow gravel road, it was mostly obscured by the blowing snow. The sun was dropping towards the horizon, and I wanted to get past the gravel road while it was still daylight. I headed out into the whiteness.
Only it wasn’t truly white. As I drove, what seemed to be a solid wall of white in the distance dissipated and I could easily see the road through a thin layer of blowing snow. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it had appeared from a distance.
Aren’t troubles kind of like that? I mused. You look ahead and you can’t see any end or improvement and you wonder how on earth you’re going to make it through. But you keep on keeping on, one step at a time, and the path seems to clear just where you need to see ahead of you. You don’t need to see the entire road—just the next step. And it’s not nearly as dense as it looks from a distance.
Then there are snowdrifts. There weren’t any. The wind was blowing the snow clear across the road. Because there was nothing to block the snow, the road was clear. Again, I thought about trouble, how if we let it stick in our mind it can get so deep we get buried in it, but, if we let it blow over us, we can continue on through.
And then there are hills and valleys. Hills are a place of exposure, but they also let us see a little bit further down the road. And, when the wind is raging, the valleys along the way can be a reprieve, a place of calm, of shelter and safety. Valleys aren’t always the low periods in our lives—sometimes they are a place where we can rest for awhile from the storms of life.
And then I reached the paved road, and the rest of my journey was smooth—but much less interesting. I suppose there’s a lesson there, as well.