Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reflections from a Snowy Lane

My daughter Liz and her husband Ryan live on a street in Rochester, Minnesota that lived up to its name today... Snowy Lane.  From this morning we got about 8 to 10 inches of snow.  I took a picture of their street sign just to verify the street name and the snowy day.
Today was a great reminder of what makes a Minnesotan special - or maybe different from most other people in the world.  8 to 10 inches of snow?  No big deal.  In fact, it's almost an annoyance to most of us.  We can't believe that school has been cancelled for the second day in a row.  We shovel two or three times because we don't have a snow blower.  If we do have a snow blower, we might decide to help others because we just want to be helpful. 

We are ready to make fun of anyone in the nation who freaks at the mention of a snowstorm and we scoff at the wind chills.  Goodness, did anyone see former Viking coach Bud Grant flip the coin at the Vikings playoff game earlier in January?  Coldest day of the year and there is Bud, wearing a short-sleeved shirt - daring anyone to say something about the cold.  I'm sure the Seahawks took notice.  That is what it is like to be from this state.  We hold a fierce pride to winter and all of the stuff winter presents.  We'd spit at it if it didn't freeze on us first.

8 to 10 inches of snow?  That is nothing to us!  15 degrees below zero?  Big wow!  Let's grill on the barbeque!

Before I add anything further, I'm guessing that anyone from Wisconsin, either of the Dakotas, or perhaps even Iowa could say the same thing about their states.  But I still hold that there is something distinctively different about a native Minnesotan.  You can take the person out of the state, but it's hard to take the state out of the person.  Being a native from the state goes with you everywhere you go.  You cannot escape your destiny (or is it density?).

In some ways, I wonder why we haven't got the same intense linkage with being a follower of Jesus.  I'm not saying that we aren't passionate about following Him, but it doesn't seem to be the most natural thing we do.  We have to work at it a little harder.  Perhaps that's natural.  But I really wonder why we can't have it as a part of our DNA, like being a Minnesotan, or someone who identifies passionately with any other state in the union.   Why isn't it just a part of our framework?  Just a part of who are?  Part of who we claim to be?  Naturally...

I believe I know one part of that answer and it is this: because evil doesn't want us to feel like it is natural and easy.  As a result, so many little storms in life are hurled at us all the time: temptations, sin, greed, lust, jealousy, envy, rudeness, and just being mean to one another.  At some point in our lives, we must come to the realization that these things hold no power over us.  These things cannot impact us in relationship to our identity in Jesus.  Until we come to that moment of clarity, life might always be a struggle.  It will always be a battle.  We will always feel like we are on the outside looking in.

A little temptation and greed?  That is nothing to us!  Lust and jealousy?  Big wow - not part of who we are!  Rudeness and sin?  Forget about it!

That's what it must be like to be a true follower of Jesus... at least, that's what I think as I look out on Snowy Lane and 8 to 10 inches of snow. 

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