A phone call in the wee hours from a robot:
This is an automated call to notify you that school will be closed today due to inclement weather
When you work in the education world, or you are a typical child in school, this is like a bonus gift and worth the disorienting interruption of sleep. But today that call got me thinking differently. I already had two other places to be if not working at the school today, one being on a flight to attend my uncle’s funeral. Since the airline did not make the same call the schools did, my husband made a call to stay home with the kids so I could go. On most snow days I feel bad for him, driving his over-an-hour commute across lake effect snow and routes while the kids and I are kept sheltered. Perhaps it was this upturned scenario that got me thinking about the protection of the snow day call.
Who makes the call
It strikes me that I get a call notifying me that someone else has thought for the safety of kids and others and has deemed it worth closing down in order to keep us safe. I don’t think anyone would refute the inherent good in that decision, but I can’t blame those who are upset that their field trip was cancelled (like my son), or their work plans interrupted, or that they still have to brave the weather and are outside of the protection of this system.
God makes that call all the time. He calls snow days on our plans, and I trust that He often intervenes on Satan’s plots against us. I have marveled often at the way I seem to live in a bubble, surrounded by support and love and protection, having snow days called for me. When I was so sick and weak and a robotic voice jarring my sleep to inform me my kids would be home for the day roused me into a panic full of dread at having to be alert and interactive with them all day, I was still in a very well guarded bubble. In and through my illness I connected with so many people who were “out in the weather” of very rough situations, while I felt safe in my snow day.
I would ask God all the time. Why me? Why not them? How can I help? Getting well, I asked it again. And again. If having Jesus as Lord and Savior gets you in on the snow day, then, come one everyone, wear your pajamas backwards and flush an ice cube, call him Lord, surrender and come out of the weather! Let Him make the calls for your life.
It is poignant to realize we don’t make the calls ourselves. Hence the surrendering. Our pastor cancelled evening service the other night due to weather. Church took a snow day. I can recall that happening on a Sunday morning once or twice as well. But I recall many more times when my family stopped attending church because my body and my family could not function in that environment of noise, commotion, socialization and movement. We did snow day church at home. After long enough, that became the norm for us, and then even when well enough to go again, it was hard to give up our own control and to want to try rejoining community. The couch was so comfy. But we realized that God was now making a different call for our lives and we needed to go. I heard on the radio during my snowy and slow drive to the airport a blurb about a theologian preaching a hundred years ago against consumerism religion -people favoring the option to stay home and read favorite sermons of favorite preachers rather than join in community at church. The radio spot went on to say that today’s Christian on the couch live-streaming their favorite worship service is practicing this unbiblical kind of consumerism to a great degree. I thanked God again for his grace in how long it took me to be willing to leave my couch and go to church. And for the support and joy and bubble in which the church community sustains me. Like we are all in the snow day together.
As a Christian I must keep asking myself if I am surrendered and living the day God has called for me..and in my work with churches I keep asking that we think about being the Comunity worth getting off the couch for, and being a place less stressful and demanding for all who genuinely struggle to leave the couch. God help us all. He gives a starting point in Galatians 6:
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
Galatians 6:1-10 MSG