It shall be said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” Isaiah 57:14
One thing I can say about the month of February up to this point is the weather has been great...for cross country skiing, that is.
Yes, it's cold. And the snow and blowing wind has made driving difficult, not that we are going anywhere anyway. And I am sure most of you are counting the days until spring (40 as I write this). But for those of us who enjoy the winter sports, this is truly a winter wonderland.
Cross country skiing is something I have been doing since my teens. While my friends were zipping down the (far more expensive) downhill slopes I was content to be out on the trails, relying more on my own power than the force of gravity. I never got the hang of controlling my speed on the downhill slopes and mostly felt like a runaway train.
One of the more difficult parts of cross country skiing is breaking the trail. Basically someone has to go first and whoever goes first has to expend a huge amount of energy trudging through the snow preparing the way for those who would follow. Once the trail has been broken, gliding along can feel almost effortless.
I don't mind breaking trail. I love watching my skis cut through the freshly fallen snow and I enjoy the extra energy it takes because, as I mentioned last week, I am addicted to exercise.
But mostly I know I'm helping the rest of my family who will be following the trail I make at some point. I do it for them, and myself, knowing the skiing is much more enjoyable once the trail is broken.
We are all capable of breaking the trail in some way. In ways both big and small we can make this path through life a little easier for those who come after us. We can care for creation. We can care for one another. We can build relationships and work together to build a world where every person is valued and cherished as a beloved child of God. We can be kind, generous and compassionate and remember "The Golden Rule" as we live our lives. All of these things help to "prepare the way" and "remove every obstruction" for those who would follow after us.
One thing about winter in Ohio is that with all the wind, ski trails will often drift closed and need to be broken all over again. The work never ends, but each time I go out I know I make the trail better for me and for everyone who comes after me. May we all work together to prepare God's way.
Worship This Week (No In-person worship)
Facebook Live, Sunday 10am
Transfigured and the Joy of Running UP a Mountain
Keep In Prayer:
Mary Robinson, Mary Wallen, Melissa Zehnder, Don Long, Alvin Shelley, Dee Kuhlman
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne