Obligation or Opportunity?


"Aw, nuts!" I grumbled to no one in particular as I looked out the picture window upon fourteen inches of newfallen snow.   "Fourteen inches of obligation!"

My kids looked out the same window.

"Yippee!" they shouted, and rushed to put on their snow clothes.

For them it was fourteen inches of opportunity!

Same snow -- two completely different perspectives. I wish I could think more like my kids.

I wish, my first response to winter would be snow angels rather than shovels.

When severe adulthood squeezes out childish play, the snow becomes an unpleasant burden.  As the old Christmas carol, "In the Bleak Midwinter" laments, "Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow. . ."

I muttered something about "bleak midwinter" to my wife Cathy. She rebuked me gently. "It's not so bleak, honey. In fact, it's like a beautiful post card out there! Just look, the snow sparkles like diamonds!"

I suppose beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Bishop Desmond Tutu observed that each day is a gift, and that is why it is called the present. Whatever the day brings is part of the gift, and that includes snow.

As winter approaches, it would do us well to to focus on the opportunity, rather than the obligation. Otherwise, it will be a long winter of discontent.

Whether you look for the positive or the negative -- either way -- you'll find it.

Joy comes with gratitude. Misery accompanies grumbling and complaint. "In everything", the Bible says, "give thanks." That includes the bleak midwinter!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I think I'll make a snow angel!

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